Inspired by the example set by the European Union, support for free trade and movement is growing in Africa.
Rwanda and Benin have announced plans to allow visa-free entry, while Zimbabwe has lifted visa restrictions for citizens travelling from within the South Africa Development Community, which includes 15 countries in the region.
In July, the African Union also announced it had finally agreed on an all-Africa passport to finally do away with visa restrictions. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the chair of the AU commission, declared it was a “step towards … a strong, prosperous and integrated Africa, driven by its own citizens and capable of taking its rightful place on the world stage.”
Aisha Abdullahi, commissioner for political affairs at the AU, has since said the organisation has recruited consultants who are formulating plans for an African single market, which they hope to implement by 2017.