AU Passport Launches for Government Workers

The African Union has announced that a significant step has been made to creating free movement between borders. That significant step is a special passport for government officials and head of state who need to travel between countries. The passport is only useful for a small group of people but it shows that the AU is on its way to creating a stronger union with free movement for the population.

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 release of the AU passport is a significant mile stone for the outgoing AU Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. In her last opening speech on Sunday, she noted that with the launch of the passport, the body has been able to cross off two big items on its to-do list. At the summit, Dlamini Zuma presented the new passport to the incoming chairperson, H.E. Idriss Deby Itno, the President of Chad, and Paul Kagame, the Rwandan President.

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UN Pledges Help for AU

The United Nations has announced that it is pledging $77 million for the African Union to continue it’s peace work in the troubled Darfur region.

“The aid has been offered because of Sudan’s refusal to allow a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur, Annabi told reporters.

“That (willingness) is not there today (for a United Nations peacekeeping force), so in the meantime we are looking at ways in which we can move forward by reinforcing (the African Union Mission in Sudan) to enable it to go on with its tasks effectively,” Annabi said.

The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York said the Sudanese government initially agreed to allow the United Nations to provide the AU troops with a support package worth about $22 million. Annabi was able to secure the government’s agreement to allow the rest of the $77 million aid package to go through in the last few days.”

Thanks, Shealyn

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