Ghanaians who would like to travel to Rwanda may now do so without worrying about the difficulties in obtaining a visa.
This is now the case as a result of a new policy announced by Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Thursday, November 2, permitting Africans to enter the nation without a visa.
In Kigali, the President made this declaration, highlighting the possibility of Africa unifying as a travel destination. Africa’s tourism industry currently depends 60% on visitors from outside the continent, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
“Any African, can get on a plane to Rwanda whenever they wish, and they will not pay a thing to enter our country” said Kagame during the 23rd Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council.
“We should not lose sight of our own continental market,” he said. “Africans are the future of global tourism as our middle class continues to grow at a fast pace in the decades to come.”
With this action, Rwanda becomes the most recent country in Africa to take such steps, hoping to challenge the Schengen area of Europe by fostering commerce and free movement of people.
Rwanda will follow other African nations in removing travel restrictions for their citizens upon implementation. African citizens currently had their visa requirements waived by the Gambia, Benin, and Seychelles. Additionally, by December 31, all Africans will be able to enter Kenya without a visa, according to plans recently disclosed by Kenyan President William Ruto.
“Visa restrictions amongst ourselves is working against us. When people cannot travel, business people cannot travel, entrepreneurs cannot travel we all become net losers” said Ruto at an international summit in Congo Brazzaville.
With great fanfare, the African Union introduced the African passport in 2016 with the goal of creating a travel document that would follow the European Union’s lead and unleash the potential of the continent. However, this travel permit has only been issued to ambassadors and AU officials thus far.