“Africa Unite” – Introduces African Passport

The African Union (AU) used its summit meeting in Rwanda to launch the African passport, which is designed to facilitate the movement of people in order to boost the economies of African countries. The details about the benefits of the passport and who will be eligible to obtain it are not yet set, however. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the outgoing commission chair of the AU, provided the first two passports to Idress Deby, AU chairman and president of Chad, and Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda. Dlamini-Zuma said there had been many requests for the passport and suggested that participants at the summit consider the passport and agree to develop ways for AU member states to issue the passport to their citizens as soon as the details are set. Fatima Haram Acyl, AU Trade and Industry Commissioner, noted that some member states do not recognize it, but Erastus Mwencha, deputy chairperson of the AU, said that no members had opposed the passport proposal. Eligibility for the passport will be determined by the each member state’s government. Kenfield Griffith, businessman from Kenya, expressed interest in obtaining the AU passport; his company, M-survey, conducted a mobile opinion survey in which 88 percent of the 167 Kenyans polled expressed approval of the passport.