By Philips Sunday

Rwanda, (AN24) – The African Union (AU), over the weekend, launched its long-awaited passport at the opening ceremony of the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

The passport was presented to to the Chairperson of the union, President Idriss Deby of Chad and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda by the AU Commission’s Chairperson, Dr Dlamini Zuma.

The Assembly is made up of heads of states and governments of the 54 member states of the AU.

Ms. Zuma  in her address, noted that the passport was a landmark achievement of the commission and was intended to help with regional integration of people of the continent, adding that Africa was full of hope, possibility and optimism and she was sure that the commission would achieve its aim of a better Africa.

According to her, “We see hope in the resilience of our people and the strides of countries towards eradicating poverty and transforming our economies.

“We see hope in the ever-changing landscapes of our cities and towns, as we steadily build roads, increase access to energy, ICT, water and sanitation and build schools, clinics and sports fields.

“We have hope, because the continent’s political and business leadership are preparing to act to make African industrialisation a reality in our lifetime, so that our people benefit from their natural and mineral resources.’

“As AU we have made the pledge not to bequeath violent conflicts, wars and genocide to future generations of Africans. That pledge demands our attention,’’ she said.

Meanwhile, President Deby while declaring the session open, said that the retreat of the heads of states produced immeasurable results, adding that this was because the continent had decided to take its destiny in its own hands by resolving to fully fund the activities of the union by contributing to it financially and to ensure peace and stability.

President Deby furthermore, urged member states to meet up to their responsibilities.