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Kenya

More African Airlines join AU – Backed Digital Vaccine Passport Platform

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27 – More Africa airlines have joined Africa Unions Digital Vaccine Passport Platform in a bid to manage travels amid the on-going COVID-19 pandemic that has hit the third wave.

The Airlines include Ethiopian Airlines and Togos ASKY Airlines who have announced the adoption of the platform.

The airlines follow Kenya Airways that was among the first airlines to use the portal.
The portal’s key features include information about the latest travel restrictions, and entry requirements, a database of authorised laboratories and vaccination compliance information, as well as Africa CDC mutual recognition protocol for Covid-19 testing and test results and vaccination certificates.

Ethiopian Airlines’ customers will now enjoy hassle free travel experience with their travel pass helping them verify whether their medical information meets various COVID – 19 regulations of their destination.

“We are offering new digital opportunities to our passengers so as to fully and safely restore air travel.  We are pleased to have introduced a digital platform that will be pivotal in increasing the number of passengers while making air travel safer. The solution is capable of addressing passengers’ travel needs during COVID -19 pandemic as it helps them validate their test and vaccination documents before departure. As a safety first airline, we are striving to make travel safe and seamless especially with regard to the implementation of COVID 19 prevention strategies,” said Getinet Tadesse, Chief Information Officer at Ethiopian Airlines.

On their part, ASKY Airlines said the move to join the African Union platform is to promote the use of technology to reduce fraud in the health exams value chain, eliminate the costs of duplicate clinical trials and accelerate data collection to support evidence-based decision making in travel control.

According to a statement by the airline, improving the quality of travel regulatory management in Africa is expected to bring travel, tourism, trade, investment, cultural exchange, and pan-African integration back on an upward trajectory.

“As an airline created to promote the socio-economic transformation of Africa, ASKY could not be more proud of its support and promotion of the leadership of Africa in the development and deployment, ahead of the rest of the world, of innovations which allow a total reopening of societies and economies, but which do so without leaving any African behind,” added Ahadu Simachew, Managing Director of ASKY.

Developed by PanaBIOS Consortium and Econet Group as a public-private partnership with Africa CDC, Trusted Travel is a top-class digital solution to support Member States in verifying COVID-19 test certificates for travellers and to help harmonize entry and exit screening across the continent.

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Some of the R&D partners helping in the initiative, with capabilities such as machine learning and blockchain like Koldchain, for instance, have a presence in Kenya.

Due to the support of continental business associations such as AfroChampions, the services come at no cost to travellers.

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