- Ethiopia will follow the example of Rwanda and will allow African travellers to visit the country with no need to arrange a visa
- The country’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed revealed his country would launch visa-free travel for Africans ‘very soon’
- Ahmed hopes this initiative will boost tourism and trade numbers from other African countries
Ethiopia is set to follow the example set by Rwanda and will become the second regional country to allow other African visitors to enter the country without the need to arrange a visa. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the initiative would launch ‘very soon’.
Ahmed hopes this new initiative will boost intra-African tourism and trade numbers. Experts agree that fewer restrictions on entry requirements boost tourism numbers and over a period of time also boosts trade figures.
Ahmed made the announcement at a state banquet held in honour of Rwanda’s leader on Friday evening. Ahmed said his country would be following Rwanda’s example very soon.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the Visa Openness Index claims it is easier for American citizens to travel around Africa than it is for Africans.
Earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa floated the idea of opening South Africa’s borders to all African countries in a bid to boost tourism and trade. Ramaphosa said the free movement of people and trade in Africa could help easy Africa’s reliance on foreign investment.
55% of Africans need to apply for visa’s to visit other African countries, only a quarter of African countries have visa-on-arrival facilities and less than 20% of African countries have no visa requirements at all.
EWN.co.za reported that the African Union (AU) has targeted seamless borders as part of its 2063 Agenda. The AU hopes open borders will help promote trade and end regional conflict.
The 2063 Agenda hopes to build ‘a seamless and integrated Africa with peaceful, open and prosperous borders’.
Tourism is seen as the big benefactor of easing visa restrictions on the continent, governments across the continent hope to boost the effect of tourism on the GDP of the continent which currently stands at 8.5%.
Since abolishing visa requirements Rwanda’s tourism numbers rose from 283,000 to 478,000 visitors per year.
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