The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has announced plans to introduce a new regional law which would see all SADC countries holding a common passport.
This would allow for easy passage between bordering countries, and provide a single travel document for international travel, according to Traveller24.
A big lesson and a wake-up calls from The SADC to the corrupt and useless leaders in the West African States who first stated the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which was a non-starter. The ECOWAS project was meant to be like the EU system where every member can travel, live and work in any country of their choice but that was never meant to be, the founders had good intention but subsequent leaders are only interested in lining their pockets with public funds.
West Africa is now in serious poverty and penury situation while the corrupt leaders are just laughing at the suffering of their subjects.
During the African Union conference held in July 2016, an AU passport was issued to all dignitaries and officials who attended, the ultimate is to extend the travel document to all Africans at a later date.
Speaking to Traveller24, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation, Ambassador Ramadhani Mwinyi confirmed that his department was working to ensure that an individual only uses one passport as an international travel document across Africa.
“The current work between member states was to integrate systems to ensure an East African national who is also a member of SADC carries only one travel document,” said Mwinyi.
The current SADC countries include:
Democratic Republic of Congo
The South African Home affairs spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete has acknowledged the proposed plans but confirmed that at this stage the department did not think the new document was feasible. If plan works it will mean that South Africa will share passports with 14 other states in the AU, possibility of that is far fetched considering their resent attitudes towards other African nationals but again, that could be down to the economic hardship brought upon them by the present Government
One of the main preconditions of the new document is the need for all of the participating countries to keep an up to date national population registry, said Thswete speaking to BusinessTech.
“There are many preconditions that need to be met first. If we use the EU as an example there are clear considerations of infrastructure, growth of the economy and record-keeping that would need to be met first.”
He noted that the document was still very much on the cards, in-line with the AU conference in July 2016 and the target of borderless travel across the AU by 2063.
Judging from South African point of few the proposed single travel document is never going to come to play, the idea of copying what the black and white paper of EU standards say and using that in Africa means the system is never going to work.
How can we want to copy EU system which clearly is a failure judging the situation now in the EU states. Africa need to develop what is suitable to African way of life, condition for AU member state to have an accurate population will be near impossible even EU states don’t know that for definite.
Tshwete also confirmed that despite rising xenophobic tensions this past week, the Department of Home Affairs was still very Afrocentric but there were real factors that needed to be considered such as those put in place by the EU.
“It was something we were always going to do. We have no intention to leave or change our obligations, we just want to do it in a constructive matter,” concluded Tshwete.
I hope they are able to put this in place and shame the West African States.