The idea of an African passport and the freedom of movement of persons in the continent: Only wishful thinking?Posted: 22 February, 2016 Filed under: Cristiano d'Orsi | Tags: Africa, African Charter, African passport, African Union, asylum-seekers, AU Executive Council, Declaration on Migration, EAC, ECOWAS, federation, freedom of movement, ICCPR, ICRMW, IDP, International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, migration, Protocol on Facilitation of Movement of Persons, refugees, regional integration, SADC, territory, United States of Africa, USAf 4 Comments
Author: Cristiano d’Orsi
Post-Doctoral Researcher and Lecturer, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (South Africa)
“Hail! United States of Africa-free!
Hail! Motherland most bright, divinely fair!
State in perfect sisterhood united,
Born of truth; mighty thou shalt ever be.”
This is the incipit of the poem Hail, United States of Africa, composed in 1924 by M.M. Garvey, a famous Pan-Africanist leader.
This poem is considered to have initiated the concept of United States of Africa (USAf), a federation, extensible to all the fifty-four sovereign states, on the African continent.
In 2002, at the launch of the African Union (AU), President T. Mbeki, its first chairman, proclaimed that: “By forming the Union, the peoples of our continent have made the unequivocal statement that Africa must unite! We as Africans have a common and a shared destiny!”
After that occasion, the concept of USAf has been highlighted in a more concrete way by other African leaders, such as A.O. Konaré in 2006, M. Gaddafi in 2009 –the first to mention the possibility to issue a unique passport for the entire continent- and, more recently, by R. Mugabe.