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Ugandan Bikers Ride For African Passport

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Ugandian bikers PIC:THALEFANG CHARLES
Two brothers from Kampala, Uganda, are riding across Africa in a campaign to promote the concept of an African passport. Victor Okoth, 23, and Justice Kennedy Owor, 21, are doing 20,000 kilometres

Trans Africa in a 100cc Yamaha crux motorbike that started from Uganda on May 25, 2018. Okoth told The Monitor when they passed through Botswana last week that they are advocating for the African Passport.

The African Union (AU) is pursuing a path of closer integration through the launch of a common passport that would grant visa-free access to all 54-member states.

The first of the electronic passports were unveiled at the AU Summit that was held in Kigali, Rwanda this month, where they were issued to Heads of State and senior officials. The AU aims to distribute the passports to all African citizens by 2020.

“We want to raise awareness about the passport. The passport represents a key plank of Agenda 2063, which emphasises the need for greater continental integration, drawing on the popular vision of Pan-African unity,” Okoth said. Okoth, who is a Civil Engineering student, said Agenda 2063 indicates how the continent should

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develop for the next 50 years.

He said movement for Africans in Africa has been difficult than has been for non-Africans.  He said their journey is a call for action to all Africans around the continent and to compel leaders to deliver on it.

The African Development Bank’s 2017 report reveals that Africans need Visas to travel to 55% of African countries and only 13 of 54 countries offer visa-free or visa on arrival access to Africans.

“We petition our Parliaments to pass legislation adopting the African passport, create an implementation timeline in which the African Passport would be produced by 2021 and aggressively lobby the AU Commission to provide the pledged technical support to produce the African passport by 2021.  “We are also calling for budgets for the production, distribution and popularisation of the passport.  “I urge Batswana to sign the petition and join the campaign to create a borderless Africa,” he said.



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