AU launches African passport

KIGALI - Outgoing African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has managed to tick at least two big items off the to-do list she had in her term at the helm of the continental body.

In her last opening speech at the AU’s heads of state on Sunday, she said the one item the AU managed to tick off its “email list” was the issue of the body funding itself.

The other was the free movement of people and trade on the continent, which came a step closer to being realized with the launching of the concept of the African passport at the summit.

The AU is 76% funded by donors, “or what we euphemistically call partners”, Dlamini-Zuma said.

She said the new model of requiring member states to contribute 0.2% of their import levies to the body would bring it a “step closer to dignity”.

At the opening ceremony Dlamini-Zuma also handed over the new African passport to AU chairperson, Chad president Idriss Déby, who kissed the passport with a giggling Dlamini-Zuma looking on.

He then shook her hand for longer than was strictly necessary.

The launch of the passport was mostly symbolic, and member states were tasked to go back and work out the logistics of producing these.

Government leaders and diplomats would be the first to get these passports, and Rwandan president Paul Kagame, whose country was hosting the mid-year summit, was the first to get a passport.

Dlamini-Zuma received praise from various speakers, with the Pan-African Youth presenting her with its peace award.

The heads of state were locked in a closed caucus meeting all of Sunday morning debating on the United Nations Security Council reforms, and they are expected to elect a new AU Commission chairperson later in the day.

Comments (4)

The clowns at the OAU are at it again. What would the passport be in aid of. African trade is negligible. The dictators cannot even balance the books. I have always wondered at the notion that just because we share the same land mass we are all the same. Take a look at what would happen if this document became common currency. Boko Haram terrorists would be in Zimbabwe for the first time. Al shabbab/al qaeda would also gain easy entry. Hordes of hungry Ethiopians would descend upon us. North African terrorists currently causing turmoil in Europe would find a new bolt hole in Southern Africa. Harare one of the most peaceful places on earth would be turned into another Isis outpost.Why has god given us such a thick head as Mubengegwi. Say no to the African Passport

jason mpala - 19 July 2016

Any advantages we are told accrueing as a result of this so-called African passport will be far outweighed by disadvantages especially on the issue of free movement of people. Mark my words a couple of years down the line we will be regreting why we ever allowed this to happen. Any " free movement" between countries is only beneficial when it comes to trade: anything else is tantamount to shooting ourselves in the feet.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 19 July 2016

Never heard of trade between Ethiopia and Zim or between Zim and Cameroon etc You should add Nigerian con artists to list

Xavier Mombe - 19 July 2016

"Free movement" does not mean customs & immigration checks are removed. People, Zim is not an outpost of saints, we also have crooks, murderers, hungry people just like any other country. Just saying...

Sagitarr - 29 July 2016

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