8 out of 9 of Africa’s Upper Middle Income Countries have low visa openness scores.
Migration of people from one place to another is at the foundation of Africa’s collective history. Free movement by people is the hallmark of regional economic integration, facilitating trade and economic growth across the continent.
However,some African countries are tough to get in even when you are an African.
The African Development Bank (AFBD) released its inaugural Africa visa openness report that confirmed it was easier for North Americans and Europeans to travel in Africa than it was for Africans. Very surprising!
To travel to other countries in Africa, Africans need visas to enter 55% of states on the continent, the report points out. North Americans have an easier time travelling to and within the continent than do Africans, needing a visa to travel to just 45% of African countries. They can get a visa on arrival in 35% of countries and don’t need a visa at all in 20%.
The recent creation of a platform by the African Development Bank that allows Africans to check visa requirements by citizenship is a major asset in increasing access to information.
The portal helps one to know at a glance whether or not one needs a visa for a certain country.
The 2017 visa openness index report on openness, that is just how hard it can be sometimes to obtain a visa to another African country.
Although there is a growing momentum on making movement on the African continent for Africans easier these African countries are still hard to get in whether as business people, students or tourists.
Talk of the much awaited African passport in 2020 may offer some hope, though there are still questions about how this will work in practical terms