According to local media, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to launch a new AU passport in 2021. Analyst Justis Malala said that this is critical to the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area and will greatly simplify travel on the African continent.
The AU passport is the flagship item of the AU’s “2063 Agenda”, which aims to eliminate restrictions on Africans’ travel, work and life on the African continent. The AU passport program was officially launched in 2016, but due to various reasons and the epidemic, its original promotion arrangements for 2020 have been affected. One of its main purposes is to exempt the holder from having to obtain visas for all 55 countries in Africa. Up to now, only African government leaders, diplomats and AU officials have obtained the passport.
Malala also said that due to the epidemic, the AfCFTA, which was originally scheduled to be launched in July 2020, was postponed to January 1, 2021. However, most of the travel restrictions in African countries have been lifted, coupled with the steady progress of the COVID-19 vaccine plan, the AfCFTA may be able to operate smoothly.