African diplomatic passport goes into use soon

Banjul- Gambia (PANA) -- An African diplomatic passport will become reality in the not too distant future, the chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Alpha Oumar Konare, has announced here.
Addressing the opening session of the AU Executive Council meeting here Wednesday, Konare said that it was "very important" to insist on the urgent implementation of this document.
He added that it is a major political decision to make "because all measures have already been taken and the process initiated".
This passport, which would be issued to a number of clearly identified and prominent African officials, is in line with the rapid implementation of the free movement of people and goods on the continent, Konare said.
"By making this decision, we will send out a strong signal and correct injustice that our presidents, our foreign ministers and others need visas to travel within the continent, while outsiders do not need them," Konare said.
"It would not be fair if we do not establish this passport," he noted.
Konare also spoke on implementation of the Pan-African Broadcasting Project, urging the Executive Council to see the urgent need to implement such a project.
He noted that if the project were delayed, nobody could prevent private initiatives from spiralling, especially foreign initiatives to occupy the African media landscape.
Konare assured that the AU does not intend to prevent others from undertaking such initiatives, adding that the initiative for the setting up of this continental media network could involve working with private operators on the basis of well-defined contracts.
The meeting of Executive Council, which comprises foreign ministers from AU member States, opened in Banjul Wednesday and is expected to end on Thursday.
It will prepare the agenda for the 1-2 July AU heads of state summit.

29 june 2006 12:08:00

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