AU launches all-Africa e-pass­port

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

As the Euro­pean Union (EU) threat­ens to un­ravel in the wake of Bri­tain’s vote to leave, the African Union (AU) is pur­su­ing a path of closer in­te­gra­tion through the launch of a com­mon e-pass­port that will grant visa-free ac­cess to all 54 mem­ber-states.

The elec­tronic pass­ports will be un­veiled at the AU sum­mit in Ki­gali, Rwanda, later this month, where they will be is­sued to heads of state and se­nior of­fi­cials. The Union aims to dis­trib­ute them to all African cit­i­zens by 2018.

“This flag­ship project has the spe­cific aim of fa­cil­i­tat­ing free move­ment of per­sons, goods and ser­vices around the con­ti­nent - in or­der to foster in­tra-Africa trade, in­te­gra­tion and so­cio-eco­nomic devel­op­ment,” the Union an­nounced in a state­ment.

AU Di­rec­tor for Po­lit­i­cal Af­fairs, Dr. Kha­bele Mat­losa, be­lieves that open­ing bor­ders will have a pro­found ef­fect for work­ers at the lower end of the scale.

Photo: Reuters

A boy at­tends Eid l-Fitr prayers with oth­ers at Jamia Masjid in Pak­istan.

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