African Union to issue African passports

AU passports to facilitate free movement and intra-Africa trade.

The Addis Ababa-based African Union (AU) is preparing to launch a single African electronic passport at the upcoming AU Summit in Rwandan capital Kigali, scheduled from 10-18 July.

The project is central to the AU's Agenda 2063 initiative which is designed to build a prosperous and united Africa “based on shared values and a common destiny” by 2063, a century after the AU's prede.

The objective of the Common African Passport is to facilitate free movement of people, goods and services within a “borderless” African continent and encourage greater intra-Africa trade, integration and socio-economic development.

The first people to receive the new e-passport, at the Kigali summit, include AU heads of state and government, foreign affairs ministers, and permanent representatives of AU member states based at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

The concept of an all-African passport has been in existence since the founding of the predecessor of the AU, the Organisation of African Unity in 1963, before being formally agreed upon in 2014.