Several countries, including Kenya, Zimbabwe, and India, offer mobile consular services to their diaspora communities living abroad.
These services assist with passport and visa applications, notarising documents, and other consular services. For example, the Kenyan government has recently announced that it will bring mobile consular assistance to the Kenyan diaspora in the United States. The Zimbabwean embassy in Washington DC also offers a wide range of consular services to its citizens in the Americas’ Diaspora. Similarly, the Indian embassy in Washington, DC, provides consular services such as passport/visa/miscellaneous/OCI service, attestation services, and emergency travel documents to Indian nationals living in the USA.
In addition to mobile consular services, some countries also have physical embassies or high commissions that offer consular services. For example, the Kenyan High Commission in London offers appointment-only consular services for Kenyans living in the UK.
Overall, mobile consular services are a meaningful way for diaspora communities to access essential government services without travelling back to their home country. These services help connect diaspora communities and their home country while providing practical support for those needing it.
Twisting the Narrative on Mobile passport consular
Can Africa influence mobile passport control in the diaspora?
The concept of mobile passport control (MPC) is a technology that allows eligible travellers to submit their passport and customs declaration information through a free, secure app on their smartphone or other mobile devices. MPC streamlines the traveller’s entry into the United States by reducing passport control time.
Africa can influence mobile passport control in the diaspora through various means. For example, Africa can affect mobile passport control in the diaspora by advocating for adopting mobile passport control systems at airports and other points of entry worldwide. In addition, African countries can work with their counterparts in different regions to promote the benefits of mobile passport control, such as faster processing times, increased security, and improved data accuracy.
Another way Africa can influence mobile passport control in the diaspora is by developing its own mobile passport control systems and sharing its expertise with other countries. In addition, African countries can collaborate to establish standards and best practices for mobile passport control and share this knowledge with other regions.
Additionally, African countries can leverage their growing mobile technology industries to create mobile passport control apps and other tools that citizens and travellers can use. This can help to promote the adoption of mobile passport control systems in the diaspora and help to improve the overall travel experience for people of African descent.
Effectiveness of African countries pushing for mobile passport control in the diaspora
While African countries can advocate for their citizens’ needs and interests in this area, it is unclear if they have the power to directly influence or change the policies of other countries regarding mobile passport control. However, there are ongoing efforts to bridge societies between diasporas and their home countries, potentially leading to more collaboration and cooperation on migration-related issues. The African Union has a Diaspora Division that serves as the focal point and hub for implementing the African Union’s decision to invite and encourage the African Diaspora to participate in the building and development of the African continent. Its main task is to serve as a catalyst for rebuilding the global African community by strengthening operational capacity, enabling the participation of the Diaspora in CSO pre-Summit forums, promoting effective collaboration between Diaspora Civil Society Organizations and approximate bodies on the continent, promoting effective linkages between the diaspora and various organs of the union including ECOSOCC, PSC, Pan African Parliament (PAP), among others.
The effectiveness of African countries pushing for mobile passport control in the diaspora will depend on several factors, including the level of advocacy, collaboration, and innovation involved.
Advocacy: African countries can effectively push for mobile passport control in the diaspora by advocating for adopting mobile passport control systems and sharing their knowledge and expertise with other countries. African countries can work with international organizations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to promote the benefits of mobile passport control and advocate for its adoption globally.
Collaboration: African countries can collaborate with other countries and regions to develop standards and best practices for mobile passport control. By working together, African countries can help shape the future of travel and ensure that mobile passport control systems are accessible, efficient, and secure for all travellers, regardless of nationality or ethnicity.
Innovation: African countries can leverage their growing mobile technology industries to create mobile passport control apps and other tools that citizens and travellers can use. This can help to promote the adoption of mobile passport control systems in the diaspora and help to improve the overall travel experience for people of African descent.
It’s also important to note that political will, funding, and infrastructure may impact the effectiveness of pushing for mobile passport control in the diaspora. Therefore, African countries must address these issues to implement mobile passport control systems successfully.
The way forward for African countries seeking to promote and implement mobile passport control in the diaspora involves several key steps below:
Build awareness: African countries should build awareness about the benefits of mobile passport control and the need to implement it in the diaspora. This can involve engaging with stakeholders, such as travellers, airlines, and immigration authorities, and promoting the benefits of mobile passport control through various channels, such as social media, events, and media outreach.
Advocate for change: African countries should advocate for change by working with international organizations such as IATA and regional groups to promote the adoption of mobile passport control systems. This can involve supporting policy changes, creating partnerships with other countries, and sharing best practices.
Develop mobile passport control systems: African countries should develop their own mobile passport control systems and share their expertise with other countries. This can involve working with technology companies and other partners to establish standards and best practices for mobile passport control and sharing this knowledge with other regions.
Implement mobile passport control systems: African countries should work to implement mobile passport control systems at border crossings and other points of entry. This can involve investing in infrastructure and technology, training staff, and working with international partners to ensure the systems are secure and efficient.
Evaluate and improve: African countries should evaluate the effectiveness of their mobile passport control systems and make improvements where necessary. This can involve gathering feedback from travellers, monitoring performance metrics, and adjusting based on the results.
In African countries, implementing Mobile Passport Control could improve the travel experience by reducing wait times at customs and immigration. This would be especially beneficial for travellers in a hurry or who have connecting flights. By using the app, travellers can avoid long lines at airports and expedite their entry process into the United States. However, it is essential to note that Mobile Passport Control is only available upon arrival at MPC-approved sites in the United States. Therefore, its implementation in African countries would require collaboration with local governments and airports to establish MPC-approved sites.
Additionally, cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity is required to send information and receive a receipt, which may only be available in some African countries. Therefore, it may be helpful for African countries to continue advocating for their citizens’ needs and interests in this area, potentially through diplomatic channels or partnerships with other countries or organizations. Additionally, it may be beneficial for African countries to explore different ways to improve the travel experience for their citizens travelling abroad, such as by investing in infrastructure or technology that can help streamline the customs clearance process.
By: Eric Muhia
Author Image Attribution: Eric Muhia
Find out how our CONSULTANCY can help you with your Content Writing, Digital Marketing and PR requirements HERE.
Check out the latest diaspora, migration and diplomatic related Jobs HERE.
Submit your Press Release / Related Contributions HERE.
RELATED NEWS AND STORIES