The African Union (AU) has issued the first copies of the African Passport at the 27th African Union Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. The outgoing Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Dlamini-Zuma issued the first set of passports (two actually) to the President of Rwanda – Paul Kagame, and to the Chairman of the African Union and President of Chad – Idris Deby.
Other heads of State as well as diplomats and foreign affairs officers would get their copies in due course. The African Union is boldly written on the passport in five languages – English, French, Arabic, Portuguese and Swahili.
According to the Dr Zuma, even though the initial plan was to issue the African Passport to Heads of States, Foreign Affairs Ministers and top Diplomats, the AU has been overwhelmed by calls from many who want to share the privilege of holding the African passport. Hence, the commission has urged nations to accept the challenge of issuing the African passports to their respective nationals.
— Jacob Enoh Eben (@enoheben) July 17, 2016
The AU which represents 54 States wants to abolish the need for Africans visiting African counties to require a visa by 2018 and also wants to establish a free trade deal across the continent by 2017, as part of Africa’s Agenda 2063.