By Samuel Ouma
The African Risings Movement plans to launch a campaign for the free movement of Africans in Africa in 2023, which will last until 2027.
The borderless campaign’s goals will be to eliminate visa requirements for Africans traveling within Africa, to bring the AU protocol on free movement into force by getting at least 16 more countries to ratify it by May 25, 2023, to push for the widespread use of the African passport, and to raise awareness of the link between Africans on the continent and global Africa.
The much-anticipated campaigns will target national policymakers of 55 African states, embassies of African countries in diaspora AU Commission, and the Assembly of Heads of State and Government and Regional blocs such as COMESA, ECOWAS, EAC, et.
According to the movement, the goals will be achieved through a multi-pronged approach anchored solidly on mass mobilization, including people’s petitions. An online petition will be launched to gather signatures from Africans worldwide, to collect at least 5 million signatures supporting the petition.
In addition to the online petition, volunteers will be deployed to rural areas throughout Africa to collect signatures and thumbprints from people who may not be able to sign the online petition due to limited access to technology.
“The volunteers will be trained to understand the reasons for the petition, and it will be part of their responsibilities to educate each person and obtain consent before adding their name and signature/thumbprint to the petition,” said Africans Rising.
Africans Rising also plans to organize simultaneous protests in all African countries and others in the diaspora with the message of free movement. The demonstrations will be coordinated to coincide with the May 25 celebrations by the African Union member countries, with each protest ending with the presentation of the people’s petition for free movement to the government.
Additionally, a large group of Africans will travel to Ethiopia to deliver the petition on behalf of the millions of Africans demanding the freedom to travel anywhere on the continent.
A high-level panel, comprising Africans Rising ambassadors and others, will also be formed to champion the advocacy for the ratification of the AU protocol on free movement, to have at least 20 countries ratify the protocol by the end of the campaign.
Moreover, a panel of experts will be put together to aid in deconstructing the issues, responding to questions, and writing papers and briefs. This panel will also produce content for media outlets and the general public’s political education.
“We will establish alliances and partnerships with other organizations, media, social media influencers, think tanks, and other civil society actors in addition to the movements and activists at the center of the campaign to push it from all directions,” added the movement.