AU member states adopt digital Covid-19 certificates

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The African Union (AU) member states will from this month start using digital Covid-19 certificates to eliminate travel restrictions occasioned by the pandemic.

The new digital application from Econet Wireless and PanaBios which was certified by AU and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) will assist travellers comply with Covid-19 travel protocols and share vital information to end double testing across the continent.

The application will also share information about the latest travel restrictions and entry requirements applicable to the entire stretch of passengers’ journey across Africa.

This happens as the AU works closely with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat to reduce non-trade barriers in the wake of implementation of African free trade.

The AU has already notified all its members on the new applications for the simplified health-related immigration processing for travellers and port officials to ensure the continent continues to control the spread of Covid-19.

The mobile-based global health information applications are powered by a secure blockchain technology and also carry information about the Africa CDC mutual recognition protocol for Covid-19 testing, pre-entry and exit requirements, but most importantly, a traveller’s test results.

This week, Kenya joined other AU member states in using the application where all inbound and outbound travellers are now required to present digitally verified proof of a negative Covid-19 test, the Health ministry announced.

“In line with the Africa CDC Trusted Traveller (TT) initiative, an online system designed to authenticate and verify travellers’ Covid-19 certificates, no Kenyan laboratory will issue Covid-19 certificates without Trusted Travel codes,” Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said in a statement.

 

Olajumoke Adeleke

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