The 27th African Union (AU) summit held in the Rwandan capital, Kigali this past weekend and one of the highlights of the summit was the launch of the African passport.
The outgoing Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Dr. Dlamini-Zuma issued the first two copies to Chairperson of the AU and Chadian president, Idris Deby and his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame.
The African passport is inscribed in five languages – English, French, Arabic, Portuguese and Swahili. The African Union’s logo is sandwiched between two sets of inscriptions.
Speaking, Dr. Dlamini-Zuma said that they had been “overwhelmed by requests, and enquiries of other ministers, officials, and Africans citizens to share in this privilege of holding an African passport.”
To this end, she appealed that nations should accept the challenge to issue the African passports to their respective nationals within their own processes.
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The first copies of the African passport, a flagship project of Africa’s Agenda 2063 with the view to facilitate free movement of persons, goods and services around the continent – is to foster intra-Africa trade, integration and socio-economic development. The passports which are currently issued to Heads of States and diplomats and is believed to have high security features.
Dr. Dlamini-Zuma who was also giving her very last address as AU Chairperson, spoke about the successes the Commission has recorded. She listed, among others; championing the rights of women, the launch of the African passport and championing youth involvement in the continent’s journey into the future.
She challenged the next commission to focus on achieving all indicators towards the Agenda 2063 dream that had been set. The AU is expected to choose a new Chairperson to run the affairs of the Commission for the next four years.