News Brief

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.

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Stormzy performs during The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage) via Getty Images.

Watch Stormzy's Powerful BRIT Awards Performance Featuring Burna Boy

The night saw the British-Ghanaian star run through a medley of songs from his latest album, Heavy Is the Head.

The BRIT Awards 2020, which went down earlier this week, saw the likes of Stormzy take home the Best Male trophy home and Dave win Best Album.

The night also saw Stormzy deliver a stunning performance that featured a medley of songs from his latest album, Heavy Is the Head. The British-Ghanaian star started things out slow with "Don't Forget to Breathe," before popping things off with "Do Better" then turning up the heat with "Wiley Flow."

Stormzy nodded to J Hus, playing a short bit of "Fortune Teller," before being joined onstage by Nigeria's Burna Boy to perform their hit "Own It." Burna Boy got his own moment and performed an energetic rendition of his African Giant favorite "Anybody."

The night was closed off with a powerful message that read: "A lot of time they tell us 'Black people, we too loud.' Know what I'm sayin'? We need to turn it down a little bit. We seem too arrogant. We a little too much for them to handle. Black is beautiful man." The message flashed on a black screen before a moving performance of "Rainfall" backed by his posse.

Watch the full performance below.

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News Brief
The ornate gilded copper headgear, which features images of Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles, was unearthed after refugee-turned-Dutch-citizen Sirak Asfaw contacted Dutch 'art detective' Arthur Brand. (Photo by Jan HENNOP/AFP) (Photo by JAN HENNOP/AFP via Getty Images)

A Stolen 18th Century Ethiopian Crown Has Been Returned from The Netherlands

The crown had been hidden in a Dutch apartment for 20 years.

In one of the latest developments around art repatriation, a stolen 18th century Ethiopian crown that was discovered decades ago in the Netherlands, has been sent back home.

Sirak Asfaw, an Ethiopian who fled to The Netherlands in the '70s, first found the relic in the suitcase of a visitor in 1998, reports BBC Africa. He reportedly protected the item for two decades, before informing Dutch "art crime investigator" Arthur Brand and authorities about his discovery last year.

The crown is one of only 20 in existence and features intricate Biblical depictions of Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. Historians believe it was given to the church by the warlord Welde Sellase several centuries ago.

Read: Bringing African Artifacts Home

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Still from Youtube.

Watch Samba Yonga's Kick-Ass TED Talk on an 'African Superhero Curriculum'

The co-founder of the Zambian Women's History Museum speaks about the importance of indigenous knowledge in creating Africa's own superheroes.

Co-founder of the Zambian Women's History Museum, Samba Yonga, is on a mission to reclaim Africa's history and indigenous knowledge in a way that allows Africans to centre themselves in their own narratives and become their own superheroes.

She recently spoke at TEDxLusaka about developing a "blueprint for the African superhero curriculum". It's the TED talk that you definitely need to watch this year.

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Amanda Black Shares Stunning Visuals for ‘Ndizele Wena’

Watch Amanda Black's new music video for 'Ndizele Wena.'

South African singer Amanda Black recently released visuals for her latest single "Ndizele Wena." The track is a love song in which she promises to stay with her lover through all the ups and down. She sings in the first verse:

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