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The Alliance for Migration, Leadership and Development (AMLD) has launched the capacity building of actors in intra-regional Management of the free movement of persons and rights of residence and establishment within The Economic Community of African States (ECOWAS) in Dakar Senegal. (Photo: Head of Chancery Sahr Johnny at the workshop)
The one day workshop launching project was held at the Jeanie Waddell Fournier ICRC. Among the participants were the Head of Chancery at the Sierra Leone Embassy in Senegal, Sahr Johnny, diplomats from ECOWAS states based in Senegal, members of Senegal’s Bar Association, customs and other related officials of government.
Madam Ndioro Ndiaye, Coordinator for the Alliance for Migration, Leadership and Development, stressed the importance for training of persons within the sub-region in understanding the aspect of ECOWAS 1979 protocol and its related instruments..She encouraged both State and non- State actors to be more committed to the implementation process within the sub-region and further challenged political actors to enforce the agenda in the protocol.
According to the moderator Ms Dior Fall Sow the workshop is part of its proposed capacity building of state and non state actors to discuss the aspect of the free movement of persons, the right of residence and establishment within ECOWAS. She noted that the project aims at the realization of efficient management of the free movement of people and the respect of their rights of residence and establishment. She added that in doing so, it seeks to promote socio-economic development sought by members of the community through the correct application of the ECOWAS protocol of 1979 and its additional protocols.
Ms Fall Sow observed that lifting obstacles to the implementation of these protocols necessarily involves training and education of state actors in charge of managing the movement of persons and rights which must be regulated. She called for the sharing of information and reliable data on the content of legal instruments within States.
Giving his opening remarks, the Head of the International Community of the Red Cross Regional Delegation, Christopher Martin stressed the urgent need to look at the issue of free movement through academic perspective. “The issue and experiences that deals with regional and intra-regional free movement of persons and goods in West Africa is a very important issue and must be properly looked into” he noted.
Speaking Mr. Mamadou Lamine Fofana of ECOWAS observed that all should be reminded that free movement is a fundamental right under the convention of human rights and people and that it is important to be upheld within the sub-region.
Ambassador Omar Ndongo, commenting on the aspect of regional integration relating to its progress and challenges, deliberated on the political will of leaders in the region. He observed that though there had been a political consensus since 1979, the actual implementation is yet to be seen. On the aspect of progress, he admitted that it has been slow but that the will to initiate the agenda for infrastructural development is on the way.
Participants shared their experiences and held wide ranging discussions affecting the free movement of people, goods, right of residence and as to how progress can be made.
The workshop was funded by the ECOWAS—Spain Migration and Development Program in Abuja.
Ralph Ese’Donnu Sawyerr, IA, Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Senegal and The Gambia
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