The project “Support to the African Union Continent Wide Initiative on Free Movement of Persons and Operationalization of the Horn of African Initiative” is a two year project, 15 December 2016 to 15 December 2018, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and it has been implemented by IOM since the start of the implementation period. The project aims to provide technical support to the AUC in operationalizing the continental and regional policy frameworks that facilitate mobility of persons in the continent and combat irregular migration through the development of the protocol on free movement of persons in the continent and supporting the efforts of the Horn of Africa Initiative in operationalizing its plan of action to combat irregular migration from and within the Horn of Africa.
Since the start of project implementation, IOM has been implementing activities which are geared towardssupporting the efforts of the AU to ensure well managed mobility (free movement of persons) in the African continent and operationalization of the Horn of Africa Initiative. IOM supported the drafting of, and Member States and RECs consultation on Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Right of Establishment and its Implementation Roadmap. IOM also supported an AUC commissioned study on the “Cost and Benefits of Free Movement of Persons in Africa” with the aim to contribute to the efforts of the AU in promoting mobility in the continent. The Protocol was adopted during the 30th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly and will come into force after ratification of 15 AU Member States. The study has been finalised and is undergoing final editing, then translation into AU languages before official launch.
Regarding the operationalization of the Horn of Africa Initiative to combat irregular migration from and within the Horn of Africa; IOM has supported AUC Member States to undertake regular consultations, technical working group meeting, steering committee meeting, and technical working group and senior officials meeting and the final adoption of the HOAI – Plan of Action.