Thursday, September 29, 2016

United States of Africa

In July 2016, Idris Deby, the Chairperson of the African Union and President of the Republic of Chad, and Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, received the first AU passports. The full roll-out of the passport for ordinary citizens is slated for the end of 2018. The AU is, however, pushing for citizens of its member states to have the possibility of travelling and staying visa- free in member states for up to 30 days before the formal rollout of the AU passports in 2018.

Is the idea of a common passport a pathway to the United States of Africa

The idea behind a common passport is to make it possible for all African citizens to be able to travel throughout the continent without visas.  In fact, a report by African Development Bank on visa openness found that only 13 out of 55 African countries allow all Africans to enter their countries either without a visa or to get visa on arrival.

Proponents of a common African passport argue that it will foster regional integration in Africa. The argument is that free movement of people along the lines of what the European Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECWOAS.)

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