New electronic hub to help intra-African travellers negotiate restrictions launched
African countries will now enjoy hassle-free travel across the continent while at the same time preventing cross-border spread of Covid-19 infection through an online verification platform dubbed Trusted Travel Portal, My Covid Pass Tool.
The online portal which was unveiled on Monday by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and African Union Commission, aims to simplify verification of public health documentation for travelers during exit and entry across borders.
The solution is the work of Africa CDC in partnership with PanaBIOS, Koldchain and AU’s AfroChampions.
Through the online portal on Africa CDC website, travelers can access public health authorities, Covid-19 lab test providers, airline operators and travelers details.
“The Africa CDC Trusted Travel Portal and My Covid Pass technologies highlight the power of partnership for our ‘Africa Against COVID-19 campaign’. We want to utilize the whole of Africa approach to ensure harmony, standardization, and coordination in the development of a public health safe corridor for travelers on the continent,” said Director for Africa CDC, Dr John Nkengasong.
“Our technology partners PanaBios and Econet have demonstrated tremendous support towards this goal, and we anticipate their technology will help accelerate the implementation of the campaign and safe reopening of member states,” he added.
Several countries and companies have already thrown their weight behind the initiative and are adopting the solution.
National, carrier Kenya Airways, is among the first 12 airlines in Africa that have supported the initiative.
During a virtual presser on Monday Kenya Airways strongly supported the AU and the Africa CDC’s intervention in increasing travelers’ confidence in air travel in order to restore economic confidence.
“We find the Africa CDC Trusted Travel initiative not only timely but vital to the ongoing continental economic recovery. Kenya Airways would like to announce its enthusiastic support in making it a success,” said KQ Director of Sales, Julius Thairu.
The other countries that have adopted initiative include Ghana, Cape, Verde, Togo, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Rwanda, Morocco, Egypt, Liberia, Uganda and Namibia.
Africa CDC is hopeful that all African countries will adopt the initiative.
The hub provides travellers with information on what they need to travel from their specific port of origin to their destination. It also lists certified testing centres and create electronic health cards using a downloadable mobile app that travellers can use across borders.
African CDC has enrolled certified Covid-19 testing centres on the platform, and register and update pre-entry and exit requirements.