Home Affairs Minister, Davies Mwila, has disclosed that Zambia has made major strides in its quest to implement activities in line with regional integration as well as migration.
Mr Mwila says as Zambia positions herself to the regional and global agendas, migration and human mobility have been targeted as part of the four out of the 17 Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) which Zambia is preparing to adapt the 2030 agenda to include migrants.
He says measures taken by the Zambian government include the establishment and deployment of the electronic border management information system, New Zambia immigration management system, launch and implementation of protection procedure guidelines for vulnerable migrants, establishment of a one-stop broder post at Chirundu as well as the launch of e-VISA last year.
He says SDGs outlines migration-related targets that include human rights since Zambia is part to the convention on human rights.
The minister said this in Lusaka today when he opened the 2nd Intra-Regional Forum on Immigration in Africa organised by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), COMESA and the African Union (AU).
This year’s forum’s theme is dubbed, “Fostering Regional Integration: Facilitating Trade and Human Mobility through Enhanced Border Management”.
The forum is a follow up to the first Intra-Regional Forum on Immigration in Africa which was held in September, 2015 in Accra, Ghana.
Mr Mwila called for a robust monitoring framework for migration to be put in place.
He said monitoring of results and outcomes is a key in every process as it provides critical information on bottlenecks, weaknesses, gaps and opportunities during the implementation process.
The minister said data on migration for decision makers should be timely and quality to policy makers.
Mr Mwila said the forum is appropriate as it has come when other countries, including Zambia and the entire African continent, hare exploring ways of address challenges to effectively manage border conflicts.
And speaking earlier, IOM Director General, William Swing, disclosed that regional economic co-operation and integration is designed to strengthen participating economies through liberalised trade.
Mr Swing said Africa is fully aware of the importance of integration and has placed it on its action agenda.
He added that international trade and migration are closely related dimensions of globalisation and to-date, inter-governmental co-operation have been achieved on trade as well as migration.
But Esther Mambwe, a cross broder trader in Zambia, lamented that traders generally lack awareness of tax rates from one country to the other.
Narrating her testimony in a packaged Forum in Lusaka today, Mrs Mambwe, however, commended Cross Border Trade Association of Zambia for linking her to major marketing blocs such as COMESA, SADC and AU outside Zambia.