The African Union (AU) e-Passport has finally been launched at the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Kigali, Rwanda.
“I feel deeply and proudly a true son of Africa after receiving this passport,” President Idriss Deby said.
He stressed on the importance of fast tracking integration on the continent to achieve socio-economic growth for the wellbeing of the African citizens.
The AU e-Passport is meant to facilitate free movement of persons, goods, and services around the continent – in order to foster intra-Africa trade, integration, and socio-economic development.
Dr Dlamini-Zuma previously said the issuance of the AU e-Passport was both symbolic and significant. She described it as a “steady step toward the objective of creating a strong, prosperous and integrated Africa, driven by its own citizens and capable of taking its rightful place on the world stage.”
The first group of people to be issued the AU e-Passports will include: AU Heads of State and Government; Ministers of Foreign Affairs; and the Permanent Representatives of AU Member States based at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Dr Dlamini-Zuma said they had been “overwhelmed by requests, and enquiries of other Ministers, officials, and Africans citizens to share in this privilege of holding an African passport.”
The AU Summit will therefore discuss conditions for the “Member States to issue the passport to their citizens within their national policies, as and when they are ready,” she said.