An all-Africa electronic passport will be launched next week.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, his fellow Africans Heads of State and their respective foreign affairs ministers will be given the electronic passports in a symbolic gesture during a summit in Kigali, Rwanda.
This is part of a longer-term plan to have a continental passport by 2020 granted all 1.1 billion Africans allow them free access to any of the continent's 55 countries.
African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said the initiative was a "steady step towards the objective of creating a strong, prosperous and integrated Africa, driven by its own citizens and capable of taking its rightful place on the world stage."
The African Union said the main aim was to facilitate free movement of people, goods and services around the continent.
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Today its only in East Africa where citizens can move freely without passports.
An African passport will eliminate the need for travel permits or visas, which are often granted after a lengthy and rigorous appraisal. Kenyans for instance require a visa to enter South Africa and Egypt, in a process that takes seven working days. Most cross-border negotiations have centered on boosting integration.