In a very ambitious move, the African Union has launched a new passport, which will allow its citizens to have a common or single passport. Furthermore, the new passport will enable all African citizens to be able to travel throughout the continent without a visa.
The new passport, which will bear the African Union’s name and that of the issuing country, will be biometric, or e-passport, which meets international standards, like those from the European Union or the USA. While supporters of the new passport argue that the introduction will reduce fraud and help fight terrorism globally; being biometric, it contains all the data (including the fingerprint) of the bearer, making it easier to track criminals. They argue further, that the introduction of the single passport will create more economic opportunities for the African countries. Others see the launch as a wasteful misplaced venture. They insist that Africa should first focus its attention and direct spending on the other pressing challenges facing the continent before embarking on the single passport project.
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