The outgoing chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has this Monday morning launched the African Passport at the 27th African Union summit ongoing in Kigali.
The head of the African Union and Chad President Idriss Deby Itno and Rwanda president Paul Kagame, who is hosting the Summit, are the first recipients of the coveted travel document.
Dlamini said Heads of state, Ministers of foreign affairs, Ambassadors will be the first beneficiaries of the African passports.
She also congratulated President Yoweri Museveni and President Idriss Déby of Chad upon their successful re-election as Presidents in their respective countries.
During the assembly the leaders deliberated on a range of issues, ranging from the bloc’s financing to peace and security on the continent.
The summit is today expected to elect the new chairperson of the African Union Commission, his or her deputy, and commissioners of the Union.
The Chairman African Union President Idress Deby congratulated President Paul Kagame and the people of Rwanda for hosting the 27th AU summit. He also commended the tremendous progress made by President Kagame, which has transformed Rwanda.
Idress said AU has got greater ambitions to ensure its greater achievements that require financial support. He expressed happiness that AU member states have agreed to fund AU programs and urged the AU member states to pay their contributions towards supporting AU activities.
President Idriss said the situation in South Sudan is still volatile and reminded President Salva Kiir and the first Vice President Riek Machar of tragedies faced by the people of South Sudan. He asked them to respect their commitments they made in Addis Ababa.
President Idriss said that Africa should have resources and the political will to stand against terrorism and should reflect on the need for special funds to fight terrorism adding that African leaders should reflect and brainstorm on the need to finance AU.
The Outgoing Chairperson of the African Union Dr. Nkosazana said that the Africa we have today is full of hope, possibility and optimism, but is also a cause of anguish in some areas saying whilst farmers, traders, students, entrepreneurs, professionals, teachers, among others from our content are hard at work and incomes have begun to increase, there are still parts of our continent where Africans are desperately yearning for peace and the space to rebuild their lives.
She said as the African Union they have made the pledge not to bequeath violent conflicts, wars, and genocide to future generations of Africans. “The pledge demands our attention as we gather in Rwanda, whose brutal events of 1994 made us commit to the principle of non-violence”, she said.
President Paul Kagame said Africans should take a moment to reflect together on the meaning and purpose of unity, which is first, the principle of African Union. He said that whenever they gather on the basis of what unites them there are peaceful solutions to every problem but when people meet as strangers even small problems are hard to solve.
President Mugabe thanked fellow leaders of member states and the AU commission for entrusting Rwanda with the responsibility of hosting the AU summit. He warmly welcomed all who turned up to attend the 27th AU summit in Rwanda.