Following in the footsteps of Rwanda, which on 1 January 2017 began to issue visas on arrival to African travellers on arrival, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that the nation would also follow suite by allowing visa-free travel for travellers from the continent.
According to EWN, the announcement was made in Addis Ababa during a state banquet honouring Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
On 9 June, the landlocked country began issuing visas online. The online visa application service is open toapplicants from all nations.
In recent years, inter-African travel freedom has become increasingly high on the continental agenda, with bodies such as the Southern African Development Community having laid plans to introduce a single passport for member countries by 2018.
Recently, Business Ghana reported on the AU Commissioner of Infrastructure, Energy, ICT and Tourism, Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, confirming plans for the AU passport to be launched by the year 2020.
“The passport, a common travel document set to replace existing national passports, is expected to grant members states of the AU visa exemption to all the 54 states in Africa,” it stated.
The latest Henley Passport Index, which ranks passports from all countries across the world according to the number of countries its holders can access visa-free, revealed that the majority of the African countries have, however, fallen in the rankings.