According to the African Union Press Release dated 31 December 2018.
The African Union has announced that it will present for adoption, guidelines on the design, production, and issuance of the African passport during its 32nd summit that will be held in Addis Ababa on February.
The Pan-African passport was launched in July 2016 during the 27th African Union Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda. The proposal for the common passport is to grant Africans visa-free access to all African countries. This has been a topic of discussion for sometime now. There has been some difficulties identified in free movement around the continent that led to the discussion. Some of the difficulties include:
High cost of travel
Difficulty in obtaining Visas
Lack of flights to the chosen destination
Currently only 13 out of 54 African countries allow visa-free travel.
According to a study by global travel technology provider, Sabre, “the introduction of a Pan-African passport will lead to over 20 percent increase in travel spending on the continent.”
During the 2018 World Blockchain Summit held in Nairobi, Kenya, Tunji Durodola, NIMC, Nigeria, proposed an identity for Africa, essentially a Pan-African passport, on the blockchain, which created enthusiasm for the long-held dream of complete free movement across the continent.
“I am pleased to stress that, in February 2019, in Addis Ababa, at the 32nd Summit of our Union, the Commission will present, for adoption, guidelines on the design, production and issuance of the African passport, the materialization of which will take us one step closer to the long-held dream of complete free movement across the continent”
said Moussa Faki Mahamat: Chairperson Of The African Union Commission.
The proposed passport is red with gold embroidered colour, and is inscribed in five languages namely English, French, Arabic, Portuguese and Swahili. AU aims to distribute the passports to all African citizens by 2020.
We look forward to the new Pan-African passport. Hoping it is deployed on the blockchain. This is already a big step forward to the realization of a more United Africa.