The African Union (AU) will this year adopt guidelines for the design, production and issuance of the African passport, in a bid to further facilitate free movement across the continent.
The adoption is expected to happen at the 32nd African Union Summit, to be held in February, in Addis Ababa.
‘‘I congratulate member states that have taken measures to ease the procedures for the entry of African nationals into their territories, and urge those that have not yet done so to join this growing momentum,’‘ said AU Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, in his new year address.
Faki recapped the progress achieved by several African nations, including the historic launches of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), the Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Right of Establishment.
In February 2019, the AU, together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), will organize the first ever international food safety conference in Addis Ababa.
In February 2019, the AU will submit a draft Protocol on Specific Aspects of the Right to Nationality and the Elimination of Statelessness in Africa.
The African Union Summit in 2019 will be devoted to the plight of refugees, returnees and displaced persons, with the aim of scaling up the continental response to this phenomenon.
In June 2019, the AU will review progress made on the institutional reform process, including financial autonomy and increasing representation of women and youth.
The fifth Afro-Arab Summit will be held in Saudi Arabia.
The AU will also be celebrating 25 years of existence this year.
‘‘The 19th of February 2019 will mark the centenary of the Pan-African Congress, which took place in Paris and laid the foundation stone for the creation of the Organization of African Unity.’‘