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African Union passport
The front cover of an African Union diplomatic passport
The picture page of an African Union diplomatic passport
Issued by African Union
First issuedJuly 17, 2016
EligibilityCitizen of an African Union member state

The African Union Passport is a common passport document that is set to replace existing nationally issued African Union member state passports and exempt bearers from having to obtain any visas for all 55 states in Africa.[1][2][3] It was launched on July 17, 2016, at the 27th Ordinary Session of the African Union that was held in Kigali in Rwanda by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and the late Chadian President Idriss Déby.[4][5][6] As of June 2018, the passport was planned to be rolled out and ready for use at borders worldwide by 2020,[7] however the rollout has since been delayed into 2021.[8]


There are three types of African Union passport that will be issued:

Ordinary passport
These passports are issued to citizens and are intended for occasional travel, such as vacations and business trips. They contain 32 pages, and are valid for 5 years.
Official/Service passport
These passports are issued to officials attached to government institutions who have to travel on official business.
Diplomatic passport
Issued to diplomats and consuls for work-related travel, and to their accompanying dependents.
Temporary passport
These passports are issued to travelling citizens or natives of African countries that cannot get hold of their passports due to various reasons including robbery, theft or accidents. They may last for 6 months to a year.


The passport has inscriptions in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, and Swahili.[9] The African Union anthem's lyrics are printed on the page immediately after the picture page.

See also


  1. ^ Monks, Kieron (July 5, 2016). "African Union launches all-Africa passport". CNN. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  2. ^ "President Kenyatta arrives in Kigali for AU summit". Archived from the original on July 17, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  3. ^ "Africa: The Common Passport and Africa's Identity". Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  4. ^ "AU Heads of State to launch African Union Passport during Kigali Summit". July 15, 2016. Archived from the original on July 17, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  5. ^ "Rwanda Ready to Issue African Common Passport | KT PRESS". Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  6. ^ "Kenyans welcomes AU's passport System introduction". Ghana News. July 12, 2016. Archived from the original on August 9, 2018. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "African Union passports to be rolled out by 2023 - THE AFRICAN COURIER". The African Courier.
  8. ^ Philpot, Lorne (8 January 2021). "Single passport for Africa set to become reality in 2021". Blue Sky Publications. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  9. ^ AfricaNews (2016-07-17). "[Photos] The African passport with 5 language inscriptions | Africanews". Retrieved 2016-07-18.

Further reading