African Union Introduces African Passport For Heads of State In July

In a welcome development, African leaders will start using an African passport from July this year, following the adoption of a proposal by heads of state in January, to have all African countries allow 30-day visa free travel for Africans. The introduction of the African passport will pave the way for the AU’s 2063 Agenda for “a continent with seamless borders” to help facilitate the free movement of African citizens.

In a welcome development, African leaders will start using an African passport from July this year, as part of the adoption of proposals by heads of state in January, to have all African countries allow 30-day visa free travel for Africans, the BBC reports.

The African Union (AU) chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma announced the news during the Africa Development Week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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The AU is yet to indicate when the African passport will be available to nationals of all member countries.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa July 15, 2012. Photo: Reuters

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa July 15, 2012. Photo: Reuters

The idea of an African passport and 30-day visa-on-arrival has been mooted on numerous occasions during AU summits but implementation of the proposal by member states has been sluggish.

The introduction of the African passport will pave the way for the AU’s 2063 Agenda for “a continent with seamless borders” and it will help facilitate the free movement of citizens. The project, which was agreed upon last year, also aims to improve intra-African trade and to ease the movement of domestic goods between member states.

Following calls and proposals by the AU for African countries to allow 30-day visa free travel for Africans, member states have begun implementing the plan.

Rwanda allows nationals of all African countries traveling to or transiting through the country to obtain an entry visa upon arrival.

During the commemoration of its 59th year of independence, Ghana announced the introduction of a visa-on-arrival policy, which allows citizens of AU member states to visit the country and obtain visas-on-arrival with the option to stay for up to thirty days.

News of Ghana’s visa-on-arrival policy was widely celebrated by Africans citizens across the continent.

Source: BBC

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