Africa: Passport Law for Review in Response to AU Move – Govt

Following the launch of the African Union (AU) diplomatic passport during the just ended Kigali Summit, the government will review the travel documents Act in a bid to make clear on their usage.

The passport was firstly issued to the region's heads of state and ministers of foreign affairs. They will also be available to civilians of AU member countries with regards to the available procedures.

This document was introduced as part of efforts to enhance and promote business and political integration among members. Moreover, the passport would facilitate interaction by cutting some unnecessary restrictions during visa application.

Briefing reporters on the resolutions of the summit, the minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga, said the move would help to draw a boundaries on the usage of the three passports that would be made available. "There must be a control of the passports.

We in Tanzania will be having three kinds of travelling documents, including Tanzania passport, the recently introduced East African passport and the AU one," he said. Having access to hold multiple travelling documents would cause confusion among the public on when and what time should each passport be used.

According to him, the new document would embolden Africans as one, and its use would unlock the limited access of the East African passport for EAC citizens when travelling within the continent.

Meanwhile, the Kigali Summit recognized Tanzania's efforts in social welfare and women empowerment.

According to Dr Mahiga, the summit provided the country with two awards on promotion of women's rights and gender equality as well as that for social welfare. "It's an honour for our country, this has come after much efforts on implementing the 50/50 strategy, as well as the assurance of availability of social services to women including education and health services," said the minister.

The summit also called for the improvement of women's awareness and representation in social, economic and political decision-making structures in order for them to benefit from the economies of their countries and the democratisation process.

The Rwanda AU Summit was concluded on Tuesday with heads of state and government from AU Member countries making a common call for togetherness, inclusive growth and economic development through Agenda 2063.

Furthermore, they agreed to go forward, and learn from one another and accelerate efforts to promote gender equality at all levels as a way to build on the progress that have been achieved in addressing issues of major concern to the women of Africa.

"These decisions and resolutions shall remain as they are, every member state will have to implement. We considered as a revolutionary summit as most of resolutions were made for the betterment of the continent," said minister Mahiga.

Source: The Citizen.