The African Union (AU) and Migration: Implications for Human Trafficking in Africa

Through the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community (AEC) or Abuja Treaty (1991), the African Union (AU) promotes the formation of Regional Economic Communities (RECs), such as among others, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). In addition, the AU has adopted two policies that focus on migration, namely, the Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA) and the African Common Position on Migration and Development (ACPMD). Both policy frameworks and the drive towards RECs, essentially imply the efficient management and harnessing of the potentials of migration (and the eradication of irregular and criminal forms of migration such as human trafficking) for inclusive development and inter alia, economic growth. In this light and based on an extensive review of literature and policy documents on the subjects of continental and regional integration in Africa and human trafficking, this paper argues that despite the moves towards regional integration, as defined by different stages of RECs in Africa, there is still a rise in human smuggling and trafficking on the continent. The paper therefore suggest that Africa needs a new strategy for improved regional integration. She also needs to embrace post-neo-functional approach (a composite of neonationalism, post-nationalism, and humanism). This approach which advocates that regionalism in Africa should proceed from national integration and establishment of regional security organisation