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Kagame becomes first African to use continental passport

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Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame has been the first citizen to be allowed access to a foreign country after presenting the newly unveiled African Passport.

The president used the document to travel to Chad for President Idriss Deby swearing-in today.

The passport was issued to him on July 18, 2016 alongside his Chadian counterpart, becoming two African citizens to hold the document that is set to remove travel boundaries among Africans.

So far, Kagame is the first African citizen to get the first page of the passport stamped in by a migration officer.

Deby, current chairperson of African Union Assembly of Heads of State attended the 27th summit of the African Union which was held successfully in Kigali from 10-18 July 2016.

While receiving the African passport from AU commission chairperson Dlamini-Zuma, Deby said excited, “I and Paul Kagame are two lucky Africans who got this passport the first.”

Currently, the passport is only available to AU heads of states, foreign ministers, and permanent AU representatives based in the organization’s Addis Ababa headquarters.

However, the AU has plans to abolish visa requirements “for all African citizens in all African countries by 2018,” according to the AU’s Agenda 2063.

In Ndjamena, Kagame joined several other presidents including; Muhammadu Buhari and Yoweri Museveni of Nigeria and Uganda respectively.

Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is also part of a dozen of heads of state who are expected to attend this event.

Deby who has been in power since 1990 was re-elected in April in the first round with nearly 60 per cent of the vote, far ahead of his nearest rival, the opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo with 12.77 per cent.

-News of Rwanda


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