5 outrageous reasons foreign countries are denying Africans visa

Africa atlas
  • Business Insider presents 5 reasons why African visas have been banned.
  • The list mentions but does not officially include the widespread Covid-19 travel restrictions. 
  • Some of these bans have been lifted.

Sometimes the diplomatic relations between two formerly cordial nations can turn sour, and restrictive and hostile interactions follow.

Although there are numerous ways two countries can choose to sever ties with one another, there is hardly any measure that is more employed than a visa ban, save an economic sanction.

Most times when two countries are hostile towards each other or negligent of each other’s interest, they can in typical toddler fashion, choose to not speak to each other. Distance in this case can remedy an even worse repercussion.

Ideas like visa bans are an extreme solution with very minimal consequences. They are threats outside of violence and a call to revise the issue creating hostility.


Africa is no stranger to these sorts of ramifications. There are several instances where an African country or section of the country has been banned from another overseas country. Below is a list of some of the most outrageous reasons why a visa ban or restriction has been placed on an African country(s).

UAE bans Nigeria: This is the most recent entry on this list. As recently as the 21st of October 2022, the United Arab Emirates banned Nigeria from entering its borders. Although this ban does not affect the current Nigerian residents in UAE, it affects anyone meaning to travel to the country. The UAE refused to disclose its rationale behind the ban stating only that the UAE and Nigerian governments must address the bone of contention between them before the ban is lifted. Although the UAE has given no official reason for its decision, there may be some breadcrumbs that hint at the reason. Read Story here.

USA bans Ghana: Back in February 2019, the United States of America imposed a visa sanction on Ghana. The US was outraged that the Ghanaian government refused to accept Ghanaian nationals deported from the US back into the country. As a result, the US placed a Visa ban on Ghana. A similar case happened with Burundi.


USA bans Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, and Tanzania: This is on the more outrageous side of the spectrum as ex-US President Donald Trump decided to pass a bill that prevented immigrants from Nigeria, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Eritrea, Sudan, and Tanzania from entering the U.S. He noted that it had to do with security, as he placed a ban on Muslim-majority nations.

USA bans Uganda, DRC and Burundi: The United States banned the DRC government officials from coming to its country as a result of election malpractice in 2019. In 2021, the US banned Ugandan government officials for a similar reason. It banned anyone believed to have been responsible for undermining the democratic process during the Ugandan general elections.

On the 23rd of November 2015 after President Nkurunziza’s controversial bid for a third term sparked a coup attempt and post-election violence that killed some 1,200 people and displaced another 400,000, the then US President, President Obama sanctioned government officials in Burundi, banning them from entering the United States.


UK bans Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia: This ban was a result of the Ebola scare in 2014. These countries were said to have an Ebola epidemic on the horizon and numerous world governments wanted to contain it. Not so much an outrageous reason, other countries followed suit, restricting travels to and from these nations, and subsequently other African countries.


Honorable mention


A worldwide ban on Africa: Etched painfully in recent memories, the Covid-19 pandemic stirred a global paranoia, unlike ever before. This particular subject merits its own list, but due to its sheer scale of magnitude, this event deserves a mention. UK, USA, China, Europe, and more banned numerous African countries from stepping into their borders. The African countries banned are too numerous to list, and the countries that did the banning are equally too many to mention.


Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: