Regional integration initiatives

African Continental Free Trade Area

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) moved into its operational phase on 7 July 2019 at an Extraordinary Summit of the African Union, with plans for trading under the Agreement due to begin on 1 July 2020. The AfCFTA will be one of the largest free trade areas in the world, covering 1.2 billion people, growing to 2.5 billion by 2050. Empowering Africa’s population to travel will be vital to facilitate both trade flows and capital investment.

Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in Africa

The Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons, which also covers the right of residence and establishment on the continent, had been signed by 32 countries as of mid-July 2019. At the same time, the African Passport, which has been launched for African heads of state, continued to move ahead with production plans put in place to roll this out to all citizens.

Coming up in 2019, #AU Commission will present, for adoption, guidelines on the design, production & issuance of the #African #passport, taking us one step closer to the long-held dream of complete free movement across the continent.

- Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission

Single African Air Transport Market

Ease of intra-African mobility features as one of the pillars for the success of the Single African Air Transport Market, which to date has been signed by 28 countries Africa-wide. By boosting air connectivity on the continent, more African passengers will see journey and waiting times cut by over 20%,15 while growth and jobs under tourism will continue to rise.

African Union’s Agenda 2063 


An integrated continent, politically united based on the ideals of Pan Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance.

20. We aspire that by 2063, Africa shall: Be a United Africa;

  • Have world class, integrative infrastructure that criss-crosses the continent;
  • Have dynamic and mutually beneficial links with her Diaspora; and
  • Be a continent with seamless borders, and management of cross border resources through dialogue.

24. Africa shall be a continent where the free movement of people, capital, goods and services will result in significant increases in trade and investments amongst African countries rising to unprecedented levels, and strengthen Africa’s place in global trade.


72. We hereby adopt Agenda 2063, as a collective vision and roadmap for the next fifty years and therefore commit to speed-up actions to:

  • l. Introduce an African Passport, issued by Member states, capitalising on the global migration towards e-passports, and with the abolishment of visa requirements for all African citizens in all African countries.
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