AfDB joins clamour for common passport, visa in Africa

Posted: July 24, 2017 in general

auThe African Development Bank (AfDB) has joined the list of top Africans advocating a single passport regime for the continent, as it also called for visa openness to spur intra-Africa trade and tourism, according to a new report recently released by the bank.

The report titled; ‘Africa Tourism Monitor 2016,’ says the creation of an African passport and an end to visa requirements for all African citizens, specifically visa openness will improve interconnectivity, boost economic growth and intra-Africa trade, and spur investment, bringing massive benefits for the travel and tourism industry.

The report also stresses why it is now more important than ever for African countries to craft economic and trade policies that will foster inclusive and green tourism growth, intra-Africa trade, and contribute to visa openness for a borderless and interconnected continent.

Visa openness also harmonizes with AfDB’s High 5s ‘Integrate Africa’ agenda, which seeks to make Africa more open, prosperous and interconnected. The African Union Commission (AUC) also champions for an African passport.

Director of the Statistics Department at the AfDB, Dr Charles Leyeka Lufumpa, in the report said the AUC’s Agenda 2063 proposes the creation of an African passport and an end to visa requirements for all African citizens.

“Specifically, Visa openness is seen as having great potential to improve interconnectivity, boost economic growth and intra- Africa trade, and spur investment, bringing massive benefits for the travel and tourism industry in Africa,” he said.

It would be recalled that earlier in the year, President and CEO of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, had decried the multiplicity of visa requirements by African countries which he said slowed down business and development on the continent.

“Despite the size of our group, I need 38 visas to move around Africa,” remarked Aliko Dangote,

Also, President of the African Development Group, Mr Akinwumi A. Adesina, had similarly called for a policy to streamline visa on the continent.

“Our leaders have to bring down the walls that separate us, from East Africa to Central Africa to North Africa to West Africa. We need a wider open market,” said Adesina.

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