2nd Regional CSO Sensitization Forum on the Continental Free Movement Protocol


African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in eastern and southern Africa were prompted to support and promote the implementation of the African Union’s Free Movement Protocol (FMP) and the Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA) on 19 September 2022 in Maputo, Mozambique.

The call to action to CSOs was made during the opening of the second Regional CSO Sensitization Forum on the Continental Free Movement Protocol organized by ECOSOCC with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

The forum was held to popularize the FMP and MPFA, and particularly to improve the understanding of African CSOs on the FMP and to provide them with tools to perform advocacy for implementation of the Protocol by AU member states. The first forum was held in May, 2022 for western and central African CSOs. Find the communique here.

The FMP and the MPFA have been established by the AU as the primary policy frameworks to address, manage, and promote migration and mobility on the continent.

The FMP, in particular, aims to curb and eventually eliminate barriers to regional border migration (to work, visit, trade, live, etc.) within the continent. Eliminating these barriers translates to economic growth on the continent as well as improved migration procedures for African citizens.

Unfortunately, despite the existence of these migration policy frameworks, policy uptake among AU member states and their popularization within African civil society remains low and has not achieved the desired impact.

Mozambique’s Ambassador to the AU, H.E Alfredo Nuvunga opened the meeting on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique, H.E Veronica Dlhovo.

The CSOs convened at the forum represented a diverse range of technical experts in a range of thematic areas that intersect with the continent's free movement agenda. As a result, participant-led presentations showcased the expert-level discussions on cross-cutting and pressing issues within the FMP, such as social-economic rights, peace, security, human rights, women and youth, climate change, health security, and food security.

Most importantly, the forum identified the tools and capacity-building requirements for civil society to participate in the protocol's implementation.