Ghana taking steps to ratify AU protocol on free movement

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration is taking steps to ensure that Ghana ratified the African Union Protocol on Free Movement of persons in Africa, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway has said.

She however indicated that the said Protocol was not yet in force as it has not received the requisite number of 15 ratifications from member states for its entry into force.

Ms Botchway said this in response to a question by Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament for Bawku Central Constituency in the Upper East Region with regards to a question as to when the Foreign Minister would present the Protocol to Parliament for consideration.

The minister said a careful study of the status list of the Protocol indicated that out of the 55 African countries, 22, including Ghana have signed unto the Protocol.

She said only four countries; namely Mali, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe and Rwanda have ratified the said Protocol and deposited their Instrument of Ratification at the AU Headquarters.

Ms Botchway said her ministry was working with the Ministry of Interior towards the completion of all internal processes for ratification of the Protocol.

She said on that basis,the Ghana Immigration Service was the lead government agency with the mandate to handle issues relating to the subject matter of Protocol.

“That notwithstanding, the ministry has engaged them to ensure that the appropriate Cabinet approval is obtained for Parliamentary ratification of the Protocol,” she said.

Ms Botchway said upon ratification, the ministry would generate the requisite Instruments of Ratification for deposit at the AU Commission.

The Protocol of the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community relating to Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Right of Establishment was adopted in January 19, 2018 to enhance trade and boost the economy of member countries

BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI

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