2019 Africa Visa Openness Index: African Union Commission, African Development Bank report shows wins in visa restrictions across Africa

Content provided by APO Group. CNBC Africa provides content from APO Group as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. CNBC Africa is not responsible for the content provided by APO Group.

For the first time, on average, Africans can travel to approximately 27 countries visa-free or with a visa on arrival; Ethiopia moves up a record 32 places on the Index, entering the top 20 most visa-open countries in Africa.

Dowload report: https://bit.ly/2rwlzQ9

For the first time, African travellers have liberal access to over half the continent, the 2019 Africa Visa Openness Index published by the African Union Commission and African Development Bank, reveals. The report was launched on Monday on the sidelines of the Africa Investment Forum, which opened in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The progress on visa openness in Africa follows growing momentum for greater integration between countries and signals that policymakers across the continent are pushing reforms, making it easier for African businessmen and women, investors, students and tourists to travel.

This fourth edition of the Index shows that 47 countries improved or maintained their visa openness scores in 2019. African visitors no longer need a visa to travel to a quarter of other African countries, whereas visa-free travel was only possible to a fifth of the continent in 2016. Currently, 21 African countries also offer eVisas to make travel more accessible, up from up from 16 in 2018, 13 in 2017, and 9 in 2016).

The 2019 top performers on visa openness rank among the top countries for foreign direct investment in Africa, and benefit from strong levels of growth, including in tourism. The Index shows that Seychelles and Benin remain the top two countries on visa openness in Africa, with their visa-free policy for all African visitors. Ethiopia moved up a record 32 places on the Index and entered the top 20 most visa-open countries in Africa.

African Development Bank President Akinwumi A. Adesina said, “Our work on the Africa Visa Openness Index continues to monitor how Africa is doing on free movement of people. Progress is being made but much still needs to be done. To integrate Africa, we should bring down the walls. The free movement of people, and especially labour mobility, are crucial for promoting investments.”

The Visa Openness Index has inspired reforms in more than 10 African countries including Ghana, Benin, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Kenya, unlocking tremendous potential for the promotion of intra-regional tourism, trade and investments.

Despite the gains shown in the report, there is the need to move further. In 2019, only 26% of Africans are able to get visas on arrival in other African countries, up by only 1% compared to 2016.

Countries need to make more progress on visa regimes, including introducing visas-on-arrival. By breaking down borders, Africa will be able to capitalize on gains from regional integration initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area, the Single African Air Transport Market, and the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons.

“It cannot be stressed enough how crucial integration is for the development of the continent and the fulfilment of its people’s aspiration to well-being. I congratulate those member states that have taken measures to ease the procedures for the entry of African nationals into their territories, and urge those that have not yet done so to join this growing momentum,” said Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Media Contact: African Development Bank Amba Mpoke-Bigg Communication and External Relations Department Email: [email protected]

Bureau of the Deputy Chairperson African Union Commission Klenam Normanyo Assistant to the Deputy Chairperson Email [email protected]

About the Africa Visa Openness Index: The Africa Visa Openness Index (www.VisaOpenness.org) measures how open African countries are when it comes to visas by looking at what they ask of citizens from other countries in Africa when they travel. The Index is tracking changes in country scores over time to show which countries are making improvements that support freer movement of people across Africa.

Download the 2019 Africa Visa Openness Index (https://bit.ly/2X0lboS) and find out more here (www.VisaOpenness.org).

About the African Development Bank Group: The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 44 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: j.mp/AfDB_Media

Media filesDownload logo

Related Content

AfDB forecasts Africa’s growth in 2021

Updated forecasts from the African Development Bank show that Africa’s growth is expected to rebound to 3 per cent by 2021 from a 3.4 per cent contraction in 2020 in the worst-case-scenario. Hanan Morsy, Director for Macroeconomic Forecasting and Research at the AfDB joins CNBC Africa for more.

City Lodge faces resistance to its R1.2bn rights issue. Here’s why

In the wake of COVID-19 many listed companies have offered rights issues in order to raise capital during these trying times, but according to Oasis Asset Management there are good and bad equity issuances. Joining CNBC Africa for more is Adam Ebrahim, CEO of Oasis Asset Management.

Surgo Foundation: Why a young population is Africa’s best defence against coronavirus

Africa’s young population is the best defence against the COVID-19 pandemic, as the COVID-19 mortality rate for key populations has shown age as a factor for hospitalizations. This is according to the latest study by the Africa COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index; CNBC Africa spoke to Dr. Sema Sgaier, Executive Director at the Surgo Foundation for more.

Professor Shabir Madhi gives update on SA’s first COVID-19 vaccine trials

It’s been almost three weeks since South Africa’s first COVID-19 vaccine trials began, we will be unpacking more on the progress of these trials as well as the latest emerging evidence brought to the attention of the World Health Organization regarding the airborne transmission of COVID-19. Joining CNBC Africa for more is Shabir Madhi, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Witwatersrand.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

Chamber launches business clinics to support women-led businesses

Rwanda’s women entrepreneurs arm under the private sector federation body has launched a series of business clinics with the aim of supporting women-led businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. CNBC Africa spoke to Agnes Samputu, Executive Director of the Rwanda Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs for more.

Rwanda leverages on technology in the fight against COVID-19

Rwanda Biomedical Centre has established a new Covid-19 testing laboratory in Rubavu district with capacity of running 400 Covid-19 samples per day to help contain the pandemic in the area. This is the second testing lab established in Western Province after Rusizi District with capacity of running 500 samples per day. CNBC Africa's Fiona Muthoni had a conversation with Dr. Nsanzimana Sabin, Director General of RBC.

WHO sets up panel to review handling of COVID-19 pandemic

The announcement follows strong criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which accused the WHO of being “China-centric”, and U.S. formal notification on Tuesday that it was withdrawing from the U.N. agency in a year’s time.

ARC rolls out disaster insurance for Zimbabwe & Madagascar

Lesley Ndlovu, CEO of the ARC joins CNBC Africa for more.

Partner Content

Maktech’s Godwin Makyao: Now Is A Time of Entrepreneurial Opportunity in East Africa

As an executive decision-maker in both the telecommunications and tourism industries, Godwin Makyao could not have experienced a more diverse set of...

Sanlam launches urgent job-preservation initiative in response to COVID-19

Sanlam Investments is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through large-scale support of the recovery of South African companies, from small enterprises to...

Trending Now

Eskom goes after contractors over R4bn Kusile over-payment

One of the power stations that were meant to be the saviour of South Africa’s power supply is causing controversy, even before it’s in full working order. In an explosive letter, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan named contractors that he says Eskom over-paid by R4 billion, in the construction of Kusile power station. Sikonathi Mantshantsha, National Spokesperson of Eskom joins CNBC Africa for more

Does the Competition Competition have capacity to clamp down on COVID-19 profiteering?

As South Africa sees a surge in COVID-19 infections, consumers are increasingly faced with overpriced products on the shelves. The Competition Commission continues to receive complaints, from customers who are already feeling the pinch. The question is, does the Competition Competition have the capacity to clamp down on price gouging? Joining CNBC Africa for this discussion is Makgale Mohlala, Head of Cartels at the Competition Commission and Shawn van der Meulen, Partner at Webber Wentzel.

Uganda’s central bank may cap commercial bank interest rates

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda’s central Bank (BoU) has threatened to cap the interest that commercial banks can charge borrowers, after the industry...

Jambojet set to resume domestic flights on July 15

Jambojet gears up for local flight resumption; lower oil imports and higher tea exports spell current account improvement and the Central Bank invites bids for millions in treasury bonds. Journalist, Joseph Bonyo joins CNBC Afric for more.
- Advertisement -