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Archive for May 27th, 2007

AU launches African diplomatic and service passport – a great step for the continent

Posted by African Press International on May 27, 2007

Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) The African Union (AU) Commission launched on Friday an African diplomatic and service passport at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, as part of the integration efforts in the continent.

The visiting Ghanaian president, John Agyekum Kufuor, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi and the Chairman of the AU Commission, Alpha Oumar Konare, launched the diplomatic passport, which is meant to replace the current travel document, which the AU officials and leaders use for their activities in Africa.

Konare said that the launching of the diplomatic passport is a sign of Africa integration and a fulfilment of the free movement agenda of the AU.

This agenda, Konare said, has been on discussion since 2004 by African scholars and was agreed in principle during a meeting in 2004 in Dakar, the Senegalese capital.

The diplomatic passport was issued Friday to President Kufuor and Prime Minister Meles, Konare and the deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, Patrick Mazimhaka, when their pictures were taken at the launching ceremony of the passport in front of the invited guests.

The passport, printed in South Africa has a high security technology, and plated with 24 karat gold at the edge of the front page.

The green for the diplomatic and the blue for the service passport have four languages inscribed at the front, two of them are African languages-Kiswahili and Arabic-and the other two are English and French, while the visa pages bear African endemic animals on it. The visa pages also bear the six working language of the AU.

It will contribute to African integration, increase trade, tourism and education opportunity among Africans. It will also help reduce the brain drain in our continent. This is part of an institutional transformation of the AU, Konare said.

On the African Liberation Day, being observed Friday, the AU also launched V-Sat, the satellite system that will help the commission to connect with member states via live video, which is expected to reduce telephone cost of the AU and other office utilization materials.

On the occasion, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) officials based in South Africa were able to follow live the celebrations in their office in South Africa.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway (APN) / African Press International (API), tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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