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South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa Sends Envoy To Nigeria, 7 Other African Countries |The Republican News

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa, has dispatched three envoys to seven African countries, including Nigeria, to deliver messages of pan-African unity.

This is after he was booed in Zimbabwe on Saturday at Robert Mugabe’s funeral while addressing mourners.

He, however, apologised to the crowd saying the attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa was against the principles of the unity of the African people.

Apart from Nigeria, the envoys are also scheduled to visit Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

Khusela Diko, a presidential spokesperson, said on Sunday that the special envoys will deliver a message from Ramaphosa regarding the incidents of violence that recently erupted in some parts of South Africa, which have manifested in attacks on foreign nationals and destruction of property.

Diko said the envoys will reassure fellow African countries that South Africa is committed to the ideals of pan-African unity and solidarity.

He added that they will also brief governments in the identified African countries about the steps that the South African government is taking to bring a stop to the attacks and hold the perpetrators to account.

The recent xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals had sparked criticism against the South African government across the continent.

Nigeria had boycotted the recent World Economic Summit that held in Cape Town, following the attacks on Nigerians.

The president had also ordered the immediate evacuation of Nigerians willing to leave the country after receiving the report of a special envoy sent to evaluate the attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa.

Of the 640 Nigerians that have
indicated interest to return home, 187 have been airlifted by Air Peace and arrived the country on Wednesday.

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Africa Union To Unveil Single African Passport Design This Year |RN

 

This year, the African Union (AU) will unveil the design for a single passport for all Africans. The unified passport will ease the free movement of people while spurring economic growth. It will also promote intra-African trade, and eventually creating a continent with seamless borders.

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In a statement, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat revealed that at the 32nd African Union summit in February, the commission will present details on the design, production, and issuance of the long-awaited African passport.

AU to Unveil Single African Passport Design This Year
Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat

 

First introduced in 2016, the African passport remains exclusive to heads of States and other diplomats. Chadian leader Idriss Déby and Rwandan president Paul Kagame are the first recipients. The document will permit AU passport holders to enter any of the 54 AU member states, without requiring a visa.

 

The move is likely to be a windfall for citizens of African states, who hold some of the least powerful passports in the world. Movement within their own continent is hard for Africans. At best, only Seychelles and Benin offer visa-free travel to Africans. At worse, travelers from South Sudan and Burundi need visas to go to 48 and 47 African countries, respectively.

AU to Unveil Single African Passport Design This Year
Source: Quartz Africa

But now, the AU faces the challenge of making sure the passport lives up to its potential. That it doesn’t fulfill detractors’ fears of heightened terrorism, smuggling and illegal immigration.

For some, this move will no doubt be challenging, with many African states already resistant to migrants and refugees. Plus, some have been quietly tightening visa policies. Faki, however, stated the AU will push for more integration saying, “the persisting obstacles to our citizens’ movement within their own continent are simply unacceptable.”

Why the single African passport is important

The passport is a step towards eliminating borders on the continent, aiming to enable deeper integration, increased trade and further development. Just as important, the passport is also a powerful symbol of unity across Africa. It’s also a step towards connecting African countries economically and politically.

An AU passport, therefore, represents the latest effort to create a common market spanning the continent, much like that in the E.U.

An African passport is an exciting development that can spur growth and improve living standards. To capitalize on this potential, the AU needs to plan two steps ahead. Crafting thoughtful regulations will be essential to ensuring the African passport’s economic promise is genuinely available to everyone and not subject to abuse.  (Afro Hustler)

 

AU to Unveil Single African Passport Design This Year

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EFCC Boss, Magu Emerges Chairman Commonwealth Anti-Corruption Agencies In Africa

Ibrahim Magu

EFCC Boss, Ibrahim Magu

The Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu has emerged as the new chairman of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa.

His appointment was the highpoint of a five-day regional conference with the theme: “Partnering Towards Assets Recovery and Return” held at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

A communique issued by the anti-graft body at the end of the 8th Regional Conference announced the appointment of Magu as the new helmsman of the influential body.

A statement by the Head Media and Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren said that the body resolved to strengthen cooperation and collaboration among member countries for the purpose of facilitating assets recovery and return.
The association expressed concern “about the heavy losses that Africa suffers as a result of illegal transfers of proceeds of corruption and crime out of Africa” and stressed the need for synergy among member countries to combat illicit financial flows.

It called on “African countries to strengthen cooperation and partnership in the tracing, recovery and return of assets in accordance with Article 54 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and Article 16 of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption”.

While recognizing the importance of whistleblowing in the fight against corruption, asset recovery and return; the meeting urged African countries to enact strong whistleblowing legislation and provide protection to whistleblowers.

The meeting also appealed to judicial and prosecuting authorities to cooperate, support and fast-track prosecution of corruption cases in their jurisdictions.

It encouraged Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa to explore innovative ways of delivering public education, awareness and sensitization messages to the general public about tracing and recovering of assets.

The conference appreciated “the invaluable support and warm hospitality” provided by the Federal Government of Nigeria, the EFCC, ICPC and the people of Nigeria, the honour of the presence of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at the opening of the conference.
While expressing appreciation to the Commonwealth Secretariat for co-sponsoring the Conference, it acknowledged the participation and commitment of the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Baroness Patricia Scotland; former Heads of State, Generals Yakubu Gowon and Abdulsalami Abubakar; Thambo Mbeki, former President of South Africa and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, at the conference.
Nineteen countries including Nigeria participated in the conference.

Meanwhile, the body announced that its next conference would be hosted in 2019 in Uganda in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat. (The Sun)

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Nigeria Leaves AfCFTA Despite Huge Economic Benefits To Region |RN

 

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  • Says intra-Africa trade moved up from below 10% to almost 20%

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Washington DC

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said in spite of Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, opting out of signing on to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the benefits of the trade pact to the region are still enormous.

It noted that in recent years there has been a significant improvement in intra-Africa trade, which has moved up from below 10 percent to almost 20 percent.

Abebe Aemro Selassie, Director of the IMF’s African Department, said this while briefing journalists on the economic development of the macroeconomic situation in sub-Saharan Africa, and the policies and reforms needed to ensure a stronger and durable recovery, at the ongoing IMF/World Bank Spring meetings in Washington DC.

President Muhammadu Buhari had cancelled his trip to Kigali, Rwanda, to attend an Extraordinary Summit of the African Union in March to sign the framework agreement for establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Buhari had said his administration will not be in a hurry to enter into any agreement that would make the country a dumping ground and jeopardise the security of the nation.

Consequently, he had set up a committee to review the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) framework agreement.

Forty-four African countries had gone ahead to agree to form a $3 trillion continental free-trade zone encompassing 1.2 billion people, even as the continent’s two biggest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, were among countries that withheld their consent.

Selassie said on Friday at the IMF headquarters that in recent years “we have seen significant Improvement in intra-Africa trade, [which] has moved up from below 10 percent to almost 20 percent of the region’s trade.

“What is interesting is that much of what Africa trades with each other tend to be more processed, more manufacturing goods, and exactly more diversified exports that Africans are thinking.

“So we think that the CFTA, when fully implemented, coupled with the removal of non-tariff barriers, facilitating infrastructure should connect markets…

“Overall we feel that CFTA is an important agreement that many African countries will benefit from.”

The decision to establish the AfCFTA was taken in 2012 by all Heads of State and Government of the African Union at their 18th Ordinary Session.

AfCFTA is the first step in the implementation of AU Agenda 2063: the “Vision” for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.  (The Sun)

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We Must Rise To Trump’s Insult, AU Commission Chief Tells African Foreign Ministers

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The chairman of the African Union Commission said yesterday that the continent’s leaders cannot stay silent after United States President Donald Trump’s alleged vulgar remarks about African countries and Haiti.

Moussa Faki Mahmat told African foreign ministers gathering in the Ethiopian capital that many are still digesting Trump’s comment that the continent’s countries are like a filthy toilet. “The continent is deeply shocked by the message of hatred and the desire to marginalize Africa,” Mahmat said, in preparation for the African Union summit which will be held on Sunday.

He said African leaders may also respond to other statements and actions by Trump. “The statements on Jerusalem, a reduction of contribution to a peacekeeping operations budget . the continent cannot keep quiet about all these,” said Mahmat.

Many Africans have reacted angrily to Trump’s rude comment but Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni grabbed headlines this week by saying the U.S president should be praised for not mincing words.

Botswana’s government called Trump’s comment “reprehensible and racist” and summoned the U.S. ambassador to explain. The U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres responded to Trump’s remark by saying that “the dignity, equality and human rights of refugees and migrants has to be respected everywhere.”  (The Sun)

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