African aviation ministers oppose vaccine passports for travellers


Hadi Sirika
African aviation ministers have described the proposal to impose vaccine passports for air travellers as unacceptable.

On Wednesday, the ministers’ position was made known at the virtual International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) high-level conference on COVID-19 by Nigeria’s Hadi Sirika.

Mr Sirika, in a statement signed by James Odaudu, the Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, said ‘’imposition of vaccine passports is specifically against the African continent.’’

According to him, many Africans have yet to receive the vaccines.

Mr Sirika described the proposal as ‘’going against the intent of Chicago Convention on (the) need to preserve friendship and understanding, reduce (the) threat to general security and establish international air transport based on (an) equal opportunity, operated soundly and economically.”

The minister recommended that states party to the Convention on International Civil Aviation should continue to minimise risks during travel by ensuring compliance with existing multinational treaties, international frameworks, guidelines, and recommendations rather than imposing vaccine passports.

He further recommended that human rights, regional, continental, and global health security, economic growth, social cohesion, good international relations, and innovation and technology worldwide be promoted to harmonise requirements.

“While transmission of critical information across borders related to public health issues such as COVID-19 and coordination among key players should also be considered,” the statement added. “African nations frowned at states imposing unilateral measures of global nature related to public health and such states should refrain from such practices and instead take measures that would facilitate the reopening and reconnection of the world.”