Today (July 17, 2017) marks exactly a year since the African Union (A.U.) launched the African passport in Kigali, Rwanda.
The first copies were issued to Rwandan president, Paul Kagame and the then-A.U. President, Idris Deby Itno of Chad during the 27th A.U. summit held at the Kigali International Conference Center (KICC).
According to the immediate past A.U. Commission chair, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the initial plan was to issue the documents to African Heads of State, Foreign Affairs ministers and top diplomats.
African passport launched, Deby and Kagame first recepients
Photos: The African Passport with five language inscriptions
She said back then that the A.U. has received massive calls to make the document available and therefore tasked governments to accept the challenge of issuing the African passports to their nationals within their own processes.
At the heart of the passport is the free movement (visa-free) access across all A.U. member nations. The African passport will thus supersede all existing national documents.
The passport is a key component of the continental bloc’s Agenda 2063 action plan. It basically emphasizes the need for greater integration among members. It is built on freedom of movement agreements such as the 1991 Abuja treaty.
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Published : Monday, July 17, 2017