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Here's How to Get Your Brand New African Union E-Passport

Unless you’re a head of state, an AU or government official, you can't—for now.

It’s official—the African Union has launched its continental e-passport program Sunday as part of the opening ceremony of the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Kigali, Rwanda.


But unless you're Rwandan President Paul Kagame or Chadian President Idriss Eby, who are already carrying their fancy-looking red and gold document, an AU official or select government personnel, it's unclear when AU passports will become available.

The launch fulfills an aspiration of Agenda 2063 that envisions an “integrated” and “united” Africa, according to the AU press release announcing plans for the e-passport.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by requests and enquiries of other ministers, officials, and African citizens to share in this privilege of holding an African passport,” Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the African Union Commission says, according to The New Times.

“These are great steps we are taking. Our Union has great ambitions in order to ensure economic and political integration,” President Deby says.

For now, there is no set timeline for when e-passports will be rolled out to the rest of Africa, but Dlamini-Zuma has urged African Union member states to issue e-passports to their citizens “within their national policies, as and when they are ready,” Quartz Africa reports.

It’s hoped that the e-passports is the first step that will increase mobility for Africans on the continent as well as boost trade and economic growth opportunities.

However, strict visa requirements and cost prohibitive airfare are still obstacles for the African Union to realize its vision for “a strong, prosperous and integrated Africa,” though countries such as Seychelles, Mauritius, Rwanda, and Ghana have taken lead in easing their visa requirements.

Politics
Photo by Victor Ehikhamenor

25 Years After Liberation, Rwanda Wants the World to See How Far It's Come

Rwanda is on a mission to sell a new story about itself, and for a week, it enlisted a group of "foreign influencers" to help tell it.

On July 4, 1994, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), led by a 36-year-old Paul Kagame, stormed the streets of Kigali, effectually putting an end to 100 days of genocide against the country's Tutsi minority.

It's an unambiguous story of triumph after turmoil, and it's this precise narrative of radical reconstruction that the government sought to display to the group of artists, photographers, filmmakers and fellow journalists from across the continent who I traveled with for a week-long press tour of the country in observance of the 25th anniversary of that very day.

Kigali's physical beauty is unmistakable. The city's cleanliness is noteworthy, even for a capital city with a population of just under a million people—the litter, street hawkers and homeless population characteristic of most urban capitals were nowhere to be found. We began our week at an achingly early 5:30 am, embarking on a Liberation Tour of the northeastern part of the country via military helicopter, which took us to the various sites where the RPF carried out its various missions to transform the country—starting as a rebel group in 1990 with a mission of reinstating Rwandan Tutsis who had been forced into exile in neighboring countries, before becoming the genocide-ending rebel group it's known as today. It was the first time that I, and most of the group, had flown in a helicopter. Deemed "foreign influencers" by our hosts—a title we all found quite amusing—we held our phones up to the helicopter's circular windows to capture precious aerial footage of the lush, hilly scenery. The clips quickly and enthusiastically landed on my Instagram story.

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Ethiopia Will Now Grant Visas on Arrival to African Travelers

Ethiopia is the latest African nation to ease travel for African foreign nationals.

Ethiopia is making travel a lot easier for African nationals.

The country's President Mulatu Teshome, announced at the opening of parliament on Monday, that the country would begin to grant visas upon arrival to African nationals, easing the inconvenience of having to apply for them in advance. "A relaxed visa regime will enhance both Ethiopia's openness and will allow the country to harness the significant stopover transit traffic of Fly Ethiopian," he said during the ceremony.

According to Africa News, the move comes just after the country began issuing visas online for tourists and other visitors from across the world under the order of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

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Still from NPR's Tiny Desk Concert

Watch Nigerian-American Rapper Tobe Nwigwe's Tiny Desk Concert

Joined by his wife and seven-week old daughter, the Houston-based rapper brings his Southern sounds to NPR's Tiny Desk.

Houston-raised, Nigerian-American rapper Tobe Nwigwe is the latest artist to grace NPR's TIny Desk Concert Series.

The artist performed a 5-song medley, backed by a full band and four talented backup singers. The artist was also joined at the desk by his wife Fats Nwigwe and their seven-week old daughter.

READ: Tobe Nwigwe Is the Southern Rapper Making "Purpose Popular."

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Here Are All the Samples In Burna Boy's 'African Giant'

This video breaks down all the African Giant samples & interpolations, including songs from Fela Kuti, Magic System, Naughty By Nature, D'banj and more.

Since it dropped, Burna Boy's highly-anticipated album African Giant has been making waves and getting played on constant rotation all over the place.

The 19-track album, which includes features from Angelique Kidjo, Damian Marley, Future, M.anifest, Jorja Smith, Jeremih and more, sees the buzzing Nigerian star delivering several addictive shades of his signature afro-fusion sound as he blends in influences from afrobeat, dancehall, hip-hop, RnB and more.

Listeners have also been spotting some of the many samples and interpolations used across African Giant and now, Sample Chief, a platform for African music knowledge, has put them all together in video form.

Read: Sample Chief Selects 5 of Their Favorite Samples

The samples and interpolations across African Giant include the use of Fela's "Sorrow, Tears & Blood" and Angelique Kidjo's "We WE" (in "Anybody"), Naughty By Nature's "Jamboree" (in "Collatelral Damage"), Magic System's "1er Gaou" ("On The Low"), plus many more from the likes of Stereoman, Ududo Nnobi, Blak Ryno, and D'banj.

Check them all out below courtesy of Sample Chief.

Keep up with Sample Chief by following them on Twitter and Instagram.

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