‘Banjul Plan of Action’ validated to end statelessness in W/Africa

By Kebba Jeffang

Fifteen ministers and representatives from 15 ECOWAS member countries have validated the 8 year Plan of Action meant to end statelessness in West Africa on Tuesday in Banjul after a daylong brainstorming exercise on technicalities of the regional document.

The document is to be called ‘Banjul Plan of Action’ since it was validated in Banjul, the Gambia.

The ministers will sign the final document tomorrow and the adoption will later be done by the heads of states and governments.

The UNHCR disclosed that over 1 million people in the ECOWAS region are stateless with no identity documentation while several millions are risked to be stateless.

The Gambia’s Interior minister Mai Ahmad Fatty, while giving his closing remarks said it is an exciting but an emotional journey for the past three days for the fact that up to the 21st century the governments are still talking about statelessness. He said this means governments still have a lot to do. He said Banjul is a right venue for Banjul Plan of Action.

“We must move from rhetoric to action now. We must all go with new energy to campaign to implement all the initiatives that we have reached here,” he concluded.