The African Union (AU) is prepared to launch the electronic passport (e-Passport) at the next AU Summit due to take place in July this year in Kigali, Rwanda.
The first group of beneficiaries will include: AU Heads of State and Government; Ministers of Foreign Affairs; and the Permanent Representatives of AU Member States based at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, according to an AU statement Tuesday.
The AU e-Passports will be issued to them in July at the 27th AU Summit in Kigali, noted the statement.
Issuance of the e-passport is expected to pave the way for the Member States to adopt and ratify the necessary Protocols and Legislation with the view to begin issuing the much expected African passport, it added.
The initiative, first agreed upon in 2014, falls squarely within the framework of Africa’s Agenda 2063, and has the specific aim of facilitating free movement of persons, goods and services around the continent so as to foster intra-Africa trade, integration and socio-economic development, according to the statement.
Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, called the initiative a “steady step toward the objective of creating a strong, prosperous and integrated Africa, driven by its own citizens and capable of taking its rightful place on the world stage.”