For the creation of a unique passport for all African nationals
One African passport – For each African – Freedom of movement – Up to 90 days without visa in any African country – Biometric – 5 year-validity – one African identity
The petition for the quick creation of a unique African passport is directed to African nationals from the continent and the diaspora and has been launched by the AfroChampions Initiative, as part of its efforts to promote and accelerate Africa’s economic integration.
We citizens of African countries, living on the continent or in the diaspora, and of all political persuasions, hereby petition our national Parliaments to pass legislation adopting and funding the African Passport.
We therefore demand that our national Parliaments
1. pass legislation adopting the African Passport as per guidelines provided by the African Union as a follow up to the signature for the Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade area
2. create an implementation timeline in which the African Passport would be produced by 2021,
3. request the African Union Commission to provide the pledged technical support to produce the African passport by 2021,
4. and pass budgets for the production, distribution and popularisation of the African Passport
The single African market created by the AfCFTA is a unique opportunity to transform our continent into a global growth engine, offering opportunities for all Africans. Yet there will not be any single African market without free movement of people to second the free movement of goods and services; and Africa cannot embrace economic growth without increased cooperation between its member states. The African passport is therefore the key to our economic and political unity. As citizens of African we know that it is only through unity with that we can we achieve our biggest milestones. We therefore urge our Parliaments to honour the pledge to avail citizens with African passports as a feasible achievement, a facilitator of Pan African Unity, and a driver of economic progress.
What we want is:
An African passport to further integrate Africa.
The vision that of the fathers of our independences have outlined for us all is that of an integrated Africa. Today still, our continent remains fragmented, and weakened by prejudices and ideologies resulting from our mutual misunderstanding and lack of knowledge. This African passport will allow us to get closer to each other and become aware of our resources, our talents – and re-join in common hopes. Unity will make us stronger and able to better defeat those political or economic divisions often imposed to us from outside.
An African passport to foster inclusive development.
An African passport means we can each travel easily in each of our countries. We grieve at the constant reminder that travel by Africans in Africa remains very restrictive due to the prohibitory costs, inadequate transport infrastructure and barriers related to visa costs and processing. The African Development Bank’s 2017 report reveals that Africans need visas to travel to 55% of African Countries and only 13 of 54 countries offer visa free or visa on arrival access to Africans. 2018 was in principle the deadline by which we citizens should have had our African Passport issued. Facilitating travel is critical. It’s about giving a young company the nerve to think bigger and quickly visit potential markets to speed up expansion. It’s about giving our elderly people the opportunity to visit their loved ones elsewhere, or to heal where doctors and good infrastructure are available. It’s about setting up the foundations of a real exchange policy between schools and higher education institutions. It’s about giving an African regional player the ability to become truly “pan-African”. It’s about putting in place the incentives to drive the development of cross-borders and multimodal infrastructures. It’s about giving a boost to many industries – tourism, hotels, road transport, air, services, agroprocessing, education …. The African passport is the strategic tool that make economic development tangible for everyone.
- An African passport to send a strong signal to the rest of the world.
The African passport is a message to other regions. To those who regard Africans as a threat, or as a negligible amount or an indistinct group, we will present this passport as a reflection of what we are and what our continent represents. We hope to see this passport eventually recognized at all airports in the world. We will make this passport a tool for transformation. As we helplessly witness our young people risk their lives to settle outside Africa, we must act. The African passport will be a way to make our youth discover the opportunities that exist on the continent, and give it reasons to hope.] ** To save space, this text can appear on-click in a box apart
- An African passport to complement ongoing reforms.
We are launching this petition because the moment has come. The African passport is critical to support on-going pan-African economic policies. Late January, the Open Sky project, which will bring together 23 African countries, was launched. In a few weeks from now the Agreement on the continental Free Trade Area will be signed in Kigali. It is a major economic development for the continent, implementing free movement of goods and capital. Free movement of persons is also planned, starting first with certain categories of economic operators. We want to accelerate this process so that as many people can benefit from it as quickly as possible. Facilitating the movement of those who need to travel to perform their job is necessary – as necessary as opening opportunities for those who do not yet have a job]. ** To save space, this text can appear on-click in a box apart
We acknowledge the challenges that some fear might arise with more open borders – especially easier movement of criminals across borders and increased pressure on infrastructure and jobs. However, the introduction of the African Passport will not abolish border controls to authenticate travellers moving across borders. In fact, just like all our presidents, the African Union Commission and the African Development Bank, we consider that there are strong potential benefits, including: enhanced intra-African trade and investment, increased remittances within Africa, greater access to education, research, science and technology, and faster mobilisation of human and material resources. These befits must be taken into consideration. Some may also express reluctance and highlight the difficulties inherent in the creation of an African passport, including discrepancies between national administrations, which complicate the process, or -heavier- issues resulting from the fight against terrorism. We yet believe that these difficulties can be overcome now – with a clear roadmap, coordination, and ambitious goals in terms of security and traceability of people that the biometric passport can definitely help to achieve.
The African passport will soon become a reality. What we just need is strong political will on this issue – and to that end we are addressing this petition to the African Union and our public decision-makers.
To each and every one of you who feels that the African passport can be a positive instrument for change, we ask to support this project by
- Electronically signing this petition via the form available on this page
- Sharing the link with all your relatives, personal and professional contacts.
- Following and sharing our posts and updates on social media
Help us get a million signatures!
Your signature can make a difference !
Petition launched by the AfroChampions Initiative in partnership with Ugandan students Victor Okoth and Justice Kennedy Owor.
Victor and Justice are both third year Civil Engineering student at New York University Abu Dhabi. They are also Pan-Africanists, which means proponents of greater political, economic and social integration among African people and countries to advance development. Their major interests are infrastructure deployment across Africa and matters relating to mobility in Africa. In line with these interests, beginning on Africa Day (25th May), Victor and Justice have started a motorcycle trip from Uganda, to mobilise African citizens across Africa. Best of luck to Victor and Justice for their journey – we shall share their updates, discussions with local communities and cross border traders – stay tuned!
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