Open borders will catalyse Africa’s growth, says Uhuru

Thursday, September 19th, 2019 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) with Cotu secretary-general Francis Atwoli when he opened the 42nd General Council of the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity. Photo/PD/PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday rooted for free movement of goods, capital and people in Africa, saying it would enhance the continent’s prosperity.

He said immigration of labour across African nations adds to, rather than lessens, the continent’s development prospects. 

The President spoke in Nairobi during the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) 42nd General Council Session meeting co-organised by Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu). The meeting brings together trade union officials from 54 African countries.

“Free movement of goods, persons and capital across Africa is the surest path for national and continental peace and prosperity for the Africans,” he said.

He challenged African labour organisations to be in forefront to advocate for free movement of goods persons and capital across the entire continent.

“I call on the leadership of OATUU to help build the bridges of unity and pan-Africanism among all the sons and daughters of this great continent,” he said. 

Xenophobic attacks

Uhuru’s remarks came in the wake of recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa, which targeted citizens of other African nations. 

At least 12 people were killed in the attacks.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said some Kenyans had been affected in the attacks which mainly targeted Nigerians.

“We are not each other’s enemies. We should learn that our solidarity and collaboration is our prosperity and our future,” said Uhuru.

During the funeral of former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Saturday in Harare, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa apologised for the attacks.

Uhuru said it was sad to see African immigrants die while trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe and being humiliated in foreign lands because African nations cannot come together and implement ideas that can proper the continent and provide job opportunities and a future for their people.

Big Four

“Kenya alone does not have the answer but I  truly believe together with our African brothers and sisters, we can find the answer and the solution,” he said. 

During the meeting, Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli supported the government’s Big Four agenda, saying it would create job opportunities, security, and better healthcare for workers.

At least 12 people were killed in xenophobic attacks in South Africa which targeted African immigrants and their businesses.

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