Source: BuaNews (South African government)
by Richard Mantu
(Sirte) Plans for Africa to start issuing a unique passport must be put on hold to allow necessary measures to be put in place first, says the head of the African Union (AU) Commission.
Addressing the opening of the 7th Executive Council of Ministers of the AU here on Friday, Mr Alpha Konare told delegates “we need to give more time and follow necessary measures before we move.”
Although he said it was a noble plan for Africa to have its unique passport, Mr Konare said the time was not yet ripe as other pressing matters of the AU needed to be consolidated.
He said the first pilot project was to issue the passport to all AU Heads of States and Government and Ministers.
“We need to give more time. We hope this will be understood by you,” said Mr Konare.
His comments came after Libyan Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdulrahman Shalgammade said issuing the passport “will give Africa weight in achieving its goals.”
Giving a report back to the foreign ministers about the commission’s work since establishment in 2003, Mr Konare decried the slow pace in which member states were contributing monetarily to the organisation, saying “countries needed to make sacrifices” to give the organisation more resources to carry out its mandate.
He said at least 12 countries were up to date with their annual contributions to the AU.
“I have no doubt that member states will do everything to give resources, because Africa needs your resources,” he said.
Mr Konare assured member states that the AU Commission would practice the highest auditing standards in managing the members’ contributions.
“The African Union needs the best, competent and loyal employees not only to their countries but to the continent and organisations of which they serve. I’m sure we will support them with the necessary resources,” he said.