The Pan-African Parliament’s (PAP) Committee on Education, Culture, Tourism and Human Resources met to consider a presentation on Africa doing away with visa requirements for travelling sports teams at the ongoing sittings of Permanent Committees of the Sixth Parliament currently holding in Midrand, South Africa.
The PAP session, which kicked off on 6 March and will run through to 17 March 2023, is guided by the African Union (AU) theme for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.”
Speaking before the Committee, Ambassador of the PAP for Sports, Mr Issoufou Idrissa said the call to scrap away visa requirements for travelling sports teams in Africa is premised on the fact that sport, particularly football, has a unifying effect and will speak to one of the objectives of the AU, to achieve free movement of people within Africa.
"Sport, football, in particular, plays a major role in Africa and when there is competition, millions follow. The sport also promotes peace, solidarity and unity among African people. One of the objectives of the AU is to achieve free movement of people within Africa and we are advocating for this through sport. The impact will be huge because of the impact of football on African soil," preferred Mr Issoufou Idrissa.
Mr Issoufou Idrissa added that with the support of the PAP, it will be possible to achieve this.
Acknowledging the importance of the free movement of people on the continent, the Chairperson of the Education Committee, Hon Amina Abdou Souna said this is a welcome initiative.
“The free movement of people in Africa is at the heart of the AU and indeed the PAP as witnessed by the AU theme of the year speaking to these issues. The presentations on this proposal have been elaborate,” said Hon Amina Abdou Souna.