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August 28, 2023 (DJIBOUTI, Republic of Djibouti):  The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has launched consultation meeting to present provision of the adopted protocol on Free Movement of Persons and to conduct a expletory presentation to explain and determine the technical, legal, and administrative requirements for implementing the IGAD single visa system, today, in Djibouti, Republic of Djibouti.

In his opening speech the IGAD Executive Secretary Dr Workneh Gebeyehu highlighted that the advantages of a unified electronic visa for our IGAD region are obvious, multifaceted and far-reaching.

The Executive Secretary further emphasized that the Single Visa is reasonable to expect that a streamlined visa process will trigger a surge in trade activities among our Member States.

“I invite you to imagine with me an IGAD region where entrepreneurs move effortlessly to seize opportunities, where researchers collaborate seamlessly on ground-breaking projects, where tourists freely visit all our diverse landscapes and attractions, and where students experience a borderless exchange of knowledge” Dr Workneh underlined.

During the opening Ceremony, Madam Fathia Alwan Director of Health and Social Development Division explained that the concept of a single visa involves the issuance of a common visa that allows visitors, non-citizen of IGAD Member States, to travel freely within the IGAD region without the need for multiple visas request for each member state.

“The IGAD single visa process, reduces administrative burdens, and promotes the seamless movement of tourists and business travelers and important tool for regional economic integration and as a driver for regional economic growth.” She added.

Ambassadors, Experts, and representative of Member States participated the consultation meeting to establish a single Visa System.

It is expected that the Member States shall take Memorandum of Understanding to their home to discuss with their counterpart and indicate their willingness to participate within 20 days’ time.

The Free Movement Protocol was endorsed on February 2020 by IGAD MS Ministers in charge of Internal Affairs and Labour.

The Agreement Establishing IGAD in Article 7 and Article 13 calls upon IGAD Member State to deepen regional integration through, among other things, creating a regime of free movement of persons, right of residence and right of establishment.

 Since 2017, IGAD MS embarked on the process towards the establishment of a free movement regime.

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