As part of efforts to ensure that all African countries adopt the use of a single passport, the African Union has announced plans to unveil a single design for the African passport. This is aimed at promoting free movement of people within the continent and promoting trade.
According to the Head of the Continental body, Moussa Faki Hammat, the details of the design, production and issuance will be presented at the 32nd African Union Summit in February.
Having a visa-free passport is instrumental to the creation of a borderless Africa which will, in turn, accelerate socio-economic growth. According to Acha Leke, the Director of Mckinsey & Company, the passport is essential in order to boost tourism revenue and increase intra-African trade.
The launch of this single passport would open up 41 countries as 13 other African states allow visa-free travel or visa on arrival. It will however not open Morocco considering the country has been controversially unsettled in regards to being an African Union state.
The idea of a visa-free passport for members of the AU was first established in 2013, as a part of the 2063 agenda, which incorporates 7 major goals to help promote a self-reliant continent. One of the primary goals of the agenda is to guarantee integration and political unity in Africa and this passport will aid the body to achieve that goal.
The passport has been exclusive to government heads and diplomats since 2016.