We are one-step closer to one Africa.
The chairman of the African Union (AU) Moussa Faki Mahamat has announced that the AU passport is actively in the works.
In a press release to end the year 2018, he revealed that details concerning the design, production, and issue of the passport will be presented at the 32nd African Union Summit in February. He also said that the Union is passionate about Free Movement and the move for the borderless Africa is crucial for the development of the continent and the fulfillment of its people’s aspiration to well-being.
Talks of the passport have been long repeated but this is the first time, it seems it is finally coming to fruition.
However, this is not the first attempt in making travel in Africa easier for Africans. In January 2018, the Heads of State and Government launched the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) in Addis Ababa which began the move for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Right of Establishment. To date, 27 Member States have joined the SAATM.
Rwanda's Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said a common passport could be a solution in disbanding all barriers halting intra-African trade.
The passports will first be given to the heads of state and African diplomats but later be distributed to all African citizens.
Once the passports have been launched, each country will reserve the right to issue them according to their national regulations, said the minister.
Africans on exploring Africa
In September 2018, people were asked why many Africans are disinterested in exploring Africa. Most of the responses called to the fact that it is generally more expensive to go to many African countries than to go outside the continent. There is also the issue of tedious borders and visa requirements.
One solution was for more African countries to pay attention to tourism, especially with other Africans in mind, and for the implementation of Open Skies for Africans.
From what the African Union is saying, they are putting more Africans in mind with the SAATM and the AU passport.
Travel in Africa is about to get a lot less tedious.