The symbolic African passport ‘launched’ at AU summit

20 July 2016

Outgoing African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in her last opening speech at the AU’s heads of state

on Sunday, said the one item the AU managed to tick off its “email list” was the issue of the body funding itself. The other was the free movement of people and trade on the continent, which came a step closer to being realised with the launching of the concept of the African passport at the summit.

The AU is 76% funded by donors, “or what we euphemistically call partners”, Dlamini-Zuma said. She said the new model of requiring member states to contribute 0.2% of their import levies to the body would bring it a “step closer to dignity”.

The launch of the passport was mostly symbolic, and member states were tasked to go back and work out the logistics of producing these. Government leaders and diplomats would be the first to get these passports, and Rwandan president Paul Kagame, whose country was hosting the mid-year summit, was the first to get a passport.

Dlamini-Zuma received praise from various speakers, with the Pan-African Youth presenting her with its peace award.

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