Togo becomes the first African country to have a certified vaccine passport.
The African Union (AU) has endorsed vaccine pass standard (Trusted Vaccines) and COVID-19 testing certificate standard (Trusted Travel) of the Republic of Togo.
Togo is the “first country to offer a continental vaccine pass and testing certificate to its citizens”, a joint statement with the African Union on Thursday said while many African countries are deploying the trusted vaccines solution and several more have launched trusted travel in recent months,
The statement added that this is expected to improve its citizens’ ability to benefit from the free movement provisions enshrined in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.
“Indeed, the African Union has rolled out its Trusted Vaccines and Trusted Travel platforms to foster harmonisation of vaccine records and test results verification across the continent,” the statement reads.
“Today, many countries around the world rely on insecure visual inspection of health documents due to the absence of a reliable international mechanism for authenticity assurance. This greatly threatens global biosecurity.
“Against this background, the Republic of Togo is proud to announce the successful integration of its national digital COVID-19 testing and vaccination system with the one developed by the African Union and the Africa Center for Disease Control & Prevention, entirely in line with the harmonised continental standards of Trusted Vaccines and Trusted Travel,” the statement reads.
“Whilst many African Countries have deployed the Trusted Travel standard for COVID-19 testing verification and are deploying the Trusted Vaccines system for authentication of vaccine records on the continental level, Togo’s success in integrating both systems simultaneously today marks a major milestone.
“Togo has also fully digitised all elements of its vaccination plan. Its platform, entirely developed in Togo, enables the issuance of a digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate with a QR code to people who have received the required minimum number of doses.
“As this digital solution meets international norms and standards, the Togolese Government established reciprocity with the African Union system of digital COVID-19 vaccination certificates and, in partnership with the PanaBIOS Consortium, compatibility with the Trusted Travel and Trusted Vaccines standards in record time.
“The recognition of Togo’s digital efforts by the African Union once again marks the country’s commitment to use innovation and cooperation to deal with Covid-19.”
The expectation is that Ghana too is going to launch an AU-wide pass like Togo has done.