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Dlamini Zuma urges visa-free access on anniversary of OAU's change to AU

Dlamini Zuma urges visa-free access on anniversary of OAU's change to AU

African Union

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, chairperson of the African Union (AU) has reiterated the need for member states to embrace the visa free entry regime for Africans.

The AU Chief repeated the call on Friday September 9, exactly 17 years after the then Organization of African Unity (OAU) voted to become the AU.

In a series of tweets, Zuma reserved praise for Ghana, Namibia, Rwanda, Mauritius and Seychelles for championing the course of a visa free continent. She also praised the latest entrant to the group, Benin.

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According to her, the AU was working to develop a roadmap on rolling out the passport to African citizenry through member states. ‘‘We’re also getting ready the Protocol on free movement of people, goods and services across the continent,’‘ she said.

Zuma also hailed efforts by the AU to self finance its activities with the decision to impose a 0.2% levy on eligible imports on the continent. She disclosed further that finance ministers were meeting to begin implementation of the levy in January next year.

‘‘With this decision on increasing our self-financing, things will never be the same again. Africa is rising,’‘ she said.

On May 25 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the 32 African states that had achieved independence at that time agreed to establish the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

A further 21 members joined gradually, reaching a total of 53 by the time of the AU’s creation in 2002. On 9 July 2011, South Sudan became the 54th African Union (AU) member.