AU rolls out continental passport

NAIROBI.- The African Union (AU) said on Saturday it has started the process of issuing the continent’s passport. Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Amina Mohamed told a briefing in Nairobi that African Ministers of Foreign Affairs have began filling in the forms for the Africa passport, which will be issued at the AU summit in July.

“I have the honour to inform you that in line with the decisions of the AU Summit of Heads of State and Government to facilitate free movement throughout the continent, through the creation of (an) African passport for heads of states and ministers, the issuance process commenced on Friday,” Mohamed said on the sidelines of the Fourth AU Executive Council Retreat.

This is the first time the retreat is being held in Kenya as previous ones were hosted by South Africa and Ethiopia. African passport holders should receive a 30-day visa on arrival at all airports in AU member states.

Mohamed said that regional economic blocs such as the East African Community have already introduced a regional passport to ease travel within the blocs.

“The African passport will build on the success achieved by the trading blocs and help to achieve the dream of free movement of Africans across the continent,” she said.

The cabinet ecretary noted that the continental passport will help to speed up the process of establishment of the Africa Economic Community. “It will also boost intra-Africa trade that is below the level of other continents,” she added. – Xinhua.

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