Ethiopian president Mulatu Teshome has announced that the country will in due course roll out a visa-on-arrival regime for all Africans entering the country.
In other words, there would be no need for Africans to necessarily apply for visas before flying into the country. All African passport holders need to do is fly in and have their visas stamped on arrival.
The president was speaking at the opening of the new session of the country’s parliament in Addis Ababa on Monday. Ethiopia, reputed as the land of origins is also called Africa’s political capital.
Land of origins for its rich cultural history and the continent’s political capital because it hosts the offices of the African Union, AU. The continent’s main political and economic cooperation bloc.
The move comes barely four months after Prime Minister Abiy announced that the country had started issuing visas online for tourists and other visitors across the world. The move started on June 1, 2018.
The PM’s chief of staff tweeted at the time that: “A relaxed visa regime will enhance both Ethiopia’s openness and will allow the country to harness the significant stopover transit traffic of Fly Ethiopian.” Fly Ethiopian is the national carrier which is the Africa’s biggest and most profitable airline.
Reports indicate that till date, Seychelles, historically is the only nation where visa-free travel is open to all Africans – as well as to citizens of every nation.
Rwanda – a recent leader in visa-free entry
Starting January 1, 2018, Rwanda announced a global visa free entry for travelers from everywhere in the world.
A communique released by the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration said citizens of all countries the world over could enjoy 30 days visa on arrival under the regime. With some entrants required to pay a fee where applicable.
Rwanda already had such a system in place for all African countries and a number of countries outside the continent. The country is reputed as one of the most open in visa openness index publications.