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Africa is set to roll out its Single Passport this year

African passport is the flagship project of the 2063 Agenda aiming to remove restrictions on Africans’ ability to travel, work and live within their own continent

Single passport for all African nations is set to be introduced this year as an implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

Single passport for Africans is a declaration of the Africa Union Agenda 2063 seeking to integrate the continent’s business and politics based on Pan-Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance.

The African passport is the flagship project of the 2063 Agenda aiming to remove restrictions on Africans’ ability to travel, work and live within their own continent.

The passport is expected to ease movement of people and goods within the African continent to stimulate then create economic success to this Continent.

The initiative aims at transforming Africa’s laws, which remain generally restrictive on the movement of people despite political commitments to bring down borders with the view to promoting the issuance of visas by member states to enhance free movement of all African citizens in all African countries.

The African Union Passport is currently available to government leaders, diplomats and AU officials only.Reports from South Africa said that the passport is set to be rolled out this year as an implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Reports said that the AfCFTA aims to bring together 1.3 billion people in Africa’s US$ 3.4 trillion economy, creating a single market for goods and services in addition to a customs union with free movement of both capital and business travelers.

The Africa Union Agenda 2063 initiative aims at transforming Africa’s laws, which remain generally restrictive on the movement of people despite political commitments to bring down borders with the view to promoting the issuance of visas by member states to enhance free movement of all African citizens in all African countries.

The initiative aims at transforming Africa’s laws, which remain generally restrictive on the movement of people despite political commitments to bring down borders with the view to promoting the issuance of visas by member states to enhance free movement of all African citizens in all African countries, reports said.

The passport is expected to ease travel within the African continent to stimulate then create economic success to this Continent.

Tourism is on top agenda among key economic areas envisaged to boost Africa’s development and social welfare of its people. The AU has been pushing its objective to double intra-Africa tourism by 2023, as part of the 10-year implementation plan (2014- 2023), which fits into the broad AU Agenda 2063 on free movements between African states.

The introduction of an African passport and opening up of borders has the potential and capacity to ensure that African travelers get the opportunity to explore the continent, which indeed has significant economic, political, cultural and social benefits.

Among such benefits are the Boosting intra-Africa trade, commerce and tourism; Facilitating labour mobility, intra-Africa knowledge and skills transfer; Promoting pan-African identity, social integration and tourism.

Other benefits are improving trans-border infrastructure and shared development, fostering a comprehensive approach to border management and promoting rule of law, human rights, and public health

African Tourism Board (ATB) had joined other economic and development organizations in Africa to campaign then promoting free movement of people including tourists within Africa.

ATB is now championing for the creation of intra-Africa tourism, aiming to bring together the people of Africa through free movements and travels within the continent.

Established two years ago, ATB is currently working jointly with African governments and other, notable Pan-African organizations and tourism institutions to promote then marketing tourism in Africa with a target to encourage visa free movements among the African states.

Africa has been making improvements on political integration within the continent in recent years. Nigeria just announced that Africans traveling to the country do not need to apply for a visa beforehand. That means all Africans can now travel without a pre-trip visa to at least 53% of Africa’s countries. That’s up from 45% four years ago. US nationals can travel to 65% of African countries visa-free.

In 2016, the African Union promised to deliver a continental passport to “help realize the dream of visa-free travel for African citizens within their own continent by 2020.” A number of prominent Africans, including some heads of state and diplomats, have been issued the passport. Through August 2019, 33 member states have signed the protocol to establish a pan-African economic body, the first step toward the free movement of people.

SOURCES: QUARTZ AFRICA, eTN

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