Borderless Africa Possible as AU Leaders Launch e-Passport
The dream of a borderless Africa moved one step towards realisation as African Union leaders in Rwanda on Sunday, launched the new AU e-Passport.
The passport, which is intended to guarantee closer integration and visa-free passage across the 54 member countries, was launched at the 27th AU summit in Kigali.
African leaders on Sunday gathered at Rwanda’s capital Kigali for their biannual meet with the launch of the continent’s first-ever African e-passport.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma announced the launch and presented the first two e-passports to rotating AU chairperson Idriss Deby, President of the Republic of Chad, and President of Rwanda Paul Kagame at the opening ceremony of the 27th ordinary session of the AU Heads of States.
According to AU, the first group of beneficiaries of the e-passport will include AU heads of state and government; ministers of foreign affairs; and permanent representatives of AU member states based at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
“We are agreed to create conditions in the member states to issue the passports to their citizens within their national policies as in when they are ready,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
More passports will be given to heads of states and governments during the two-day summit, she said.
AU members agreed the idea of a pan-African passport in 2014, as part of the plan to realize the goal of free movement of people within the continent.
The two-day summit is themed; “2016: African Year of Human Rights, with particular focus on the Rights of Women”, but African leaders are largely expected to discuss a wide range of topics particularly peace and security, in the wake of a deadly violence that erupted in South Sudan between forces loyal to two rivaling political camps.
A new AU commission will also be elected to replace the one led by Dlamini-Zuma since 2012.
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