African leaders are expected to begin using African passports beginning from July this year.
The development was announced by the AU chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma during the African Development Week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“A few of us at the AU are already using that passport within Africa and it is very useful, but we want the heads of states to carry it when they are visiting African countries to make it official and known to others as well.”
This movement is part of the adoption of proposals by African head of states in January concerning the fluidity of African borders by allowing for a 30-day visa free travel.
The AU has consistently mentioned the possibility of achieving free borders at its summit but implementation of policies to foster border fluidity has been sluggish. Nonetheless, the AU has launched an Agenda 2063, a project with the aim of easing African borders and promoting intra-African trade.
The AU called for its member states to open their borders by allowing for a 30-day visa free travel for Africans. Although regional African economic blocs such as the Economic Community of West African Sates (ECOWAS), East African Community (EAC) allow visa free entry by members of their bloc, the same is unsaid of Africa as a whole.
Rwanda however allows nationals of all African countries to obtain a visa upon arrival.
Also, in a first move towards Agenda 2063, Ghana during her 59th independence day celebration announced that it would be granting Visa on arrival to all nationals of AU member states from July. The announcement which also grants the beneficiaries a 30-day duration was received positively by a lot of Africans.
Regarding the African passports, while some applaud the project, a lot are skeptical about its implementation and possible consequences.
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