Monday, July 22, 2024

The African Union’s digital Covid-19 passport for travelers

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

The African Union has developed a common continental Covid-19 digital passport for travelers and airlines.

It is an initiative by African Union’s lead health agency, the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

The technology is known as Trusted Travel, a platform that will enable passengers across Africa to securely and easily verify compliance with Covid-19 test or vaccine travel requirements issued by their destinations of choice.

The platform has been made available to airlines since March 2021 as the continent continues to battle the pandemic.

The technology provided at no cost to users has seen delays and long queues at airports drastically reduce for passengers boarding Airlines.

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Partnership with airlines

Dr John Nkengasong, director of the Africa CDC has said that partnering all African airlines will be critical fighting the spread of the virus.

“The scale of the challenge presented by Covid-19 demands an unprecedented level of both innovation and cooperation, which is why decisions by Kenya, Ethiopia, West and Central Africa to adopt the Trusted Travel platform marks a milestone in the continent’s ongoing fight against this pandemic’s potential to suppress Africa’s development ambitions,” he said.

The new platform can also be incorporated into apps of individual airlines, so air travellers can easily understand what they need before they fly.

With this latest innovation it is easier for passengers to share Covid-19 test and vaccination certificates with authorities and airlines to facilitate travel through the Trusted Testing Code (TT Code).

The TT Code is used as evidence of the test to generate a Travel Code (TC) for international travel.

The development of this technology means the African Union health unit can now gather data for its own use.

Key features

  • Information about the latest travel restrictions and entry requirements applicable to the entire stretch of your journey. 
  • Database of authorised laboratories and vaccination compliance information.
  • Africa CDC “mutual recognition protocol” for COVID-19 testing and test results, and vaccination certificates (including yellow fever and a future COVID-19 vaccine).
  • Simplified health-related immigration processing for travellers and port officials. 
  • The information is supplied by African Union Member States and validated by Africa CDC.

The European Union also recently proposed a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate the safe and free movement of citizens within that continent amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

It said it would be digital proof that the person has been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from the coronavirus.


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