Uganda Officially Ratifies Protocol of Free Movement of Persons in IGAD Region

Addis Ababa: Uganda has officially ratified the Protocol of Free Movement of Persons within the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region at a ceremony held in Kampala, Uganda today.

The formal signing carried out by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Uganda, Jeje Odongo, and witnessed by the IGAD Executive Secretary, Workineh Gebeyehu along with key ministers from the Government of Uganda and various stakeholders.

The protocol aims to stimulate higher volumes of regional trade and ease labor mobility among member states.

Uganda becomes the fourth state to ratify the free movement protocol within the IGAD region, following Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

Member States have continued to take steps to manage and address migration and mobility challenges in the region.

Since 2017, IGAD has embarked on the process towards the establishment of a free movement regime through robust country consultations, development, and negotiations of the Protocol on Free Movement
of Persons and Transhumance.

In due course, the Protocols were endorsed on February 26, 2020, by the IGAD Committee of Ambassadors. Furthermore, the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons was approved by the IGAD Member State Ministers in charge of Internal Affairs and Labour in 2020.

Earlier in 2013, the Summit of the IGAD Heads of State and Government adopted a Minimum Integration Plan to serve as a road map for regional integration, in which the free movement of people is a key pillar.

IGAD and its Member States have also developed and adopted a comprehensive migration policy framework, the IGAD Regional Migration Policy Framework in 2012 and further developed the Migration Action Plan (MAP) for 2015-2020, identifying facilitation of labour mobility, transhumance, and free movement of persons, including the possibility of establishment and residence, as their strategic priorities.

According to IGAD, member States have since 2020 entered into substantive discussions and consultations on a draft Free Movem
ent Protocol within member countries.

IGAD Member States have continuously made commitments and made great strides towards achieving greater regional integration among Member States in order to realise trade regional expansion, economies of scale, and greater foreign direct investment, all of which contribute to accelerated economic growth and increased welfare and security of countries to benefit the IGAD citizenry.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency