Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Free Movement Policy not Effective- ECOWAS Youth

By Ayodele Samuel, Abidjan

Youth from Economic Community of West Africa States ECOWAS yesterday lamented the non-effectiveness of the free movement policy in the region.

Photo caption: L-R  ECOWAS Representative in Cote D’ Ivory Ambassedor Abraham Doukoure, President of the NGO Solidarit√© Jeunesse IVORY COAST,  Stanislas Laurent YAO, Representative of Ministry of Africa Integration, Ogni Kanga Beniot , Minister for Gender  and Family immigration Mr Doumbia Yakouba and Adviser to Spain Consular General Mrs Garcia at the opening  of the ECOWAS Youth Conference on Free Movement Policy in Abidjan CoteD’ Ivory
During the opening ceremony of a three day conference on the ECOWAS Youth Conference in Abidjan, Cote D’ Ivory, themed, "The contribution of youth organizations to raise awareness and PROMOTING THE FREE MOVEMENT OF PERSONS IN SPACE,”  the youth identified poverty as the major cause of migration from the ECOWAS region.

Two delegates each were selected from the 25 members state of ECOWAS to continue discussion on how successful implementation of the free movement policy will boost development in the sub-region.

Speaking at the event, Adviser to Spain Consular General in Cote D’ Ivory, Mrs Garcia, expressed her country's readiness to assist ECOWAS achieve integrate the policy. “Spain is involved in the project because migration is very important nowadays. Spain his ready to help ECOWAS to achieve the goal of free movement within the region,” she said.

She stated that migration is a major challenge to the region but if well control can be an opportunity of social and economy development.

She urged youth and community members to promote the free movement policy within the ECOWAS region.

Meanwhile, ECOWAS Representative in Cote D’ Ivory Ambassedor Abraham Doukoure in his address urged participants at the conference to share ideas and proffer solutions to the problem of barriers to free movement in the region, “This meeting is an occasion for the Youth organization to ponder about the actions that be accomplish in order to reduce constrains to the free movement of persons and good within the region,” he said.

It his welcome address, the President of the NGO Solidarité Jeunesse IVORY COAST, Stanislas Laurent YAO, said inter-regional movement is not effective while ECOWAS first principle is based on integration of its members country.

He noted that migration policies of member countries constitute the principal barrier to the free movement of goods and persons in the region.

He identified lack of proper travel documentation, corruption at borders and disrespect for ECOWAS Free movement policy by the agents of members state as major hindrance to successful implementation of the policy in the region.

He added that the objective of the conference is to create awareness about the ECOWAS free movement policy, “Ignorance of the right among citizen of ECOWAS member state remain major constrain, we need to pay a particular attention because youth constitute the highest level of migrating movement in the region.” he said.

Present at the Conference are representative of ECOWAS country missions in Cote D’Ivory, among others.

At the end of the meeting a network platform of youth organizations and young ECOWAS to raise awareness and promote the ideals of ECOWAS on the free movement of persons and property and the fight against road harassment and borders will be set up.

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