What is red and gold and summoned by majority of economists?
The latest African Union passport revealed this week at the African Union Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, promises an answer to a most important drag on African trade: the red tape that makes it difficult for African business community, tourists and workers to go around their own continent.
More than half of the 54 African countries need entry visas for other Africans, as per the Africa Visa Openness Report.
Those visas may take days or weeks to apply for, and they make everything more hard — from hiring overseas staff to traveling on a weekend safari to selling merchandise across borders.
Presently, intra-African trade is at 11 percent — the lowest point of intra-continental trading in the world. And the prospect of African economies depends more on rising trade among Africans than having contracts with China.
All over Twitter, people have been sharing their opinions of the latest passport with the hashtag #AUPassport.
The responses varied from happy to doubtful.
But here’s the report: If you are Rwandan President Paul Kagame or Chadian President Idriss Deby (the sole holders of the two existing passports), common Africans can’t yet receive the all-Africa passport. It’s uncertain when the red-and-gold booklets will be dispersed. For present, citizens will still be waiting in those long embassy queues.