Rwanda announces visa-free travel for Africans.
Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame, has proclaimed that the country will provide visa-free travel to Africans in order to promote free movement of people and trade.
Kagame announced his plans at a speech in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, on Thursday, Nov. 2.
Rwanda is the latest African country to take such a step, following others in the aim of a more linked continent to match Europe’s Schengen zones.
The Schengen zone, which includes 27 European countries, has successfully abolished the need for passports and other border controls at their common borders.
Kagame underlined Africa’s enormous potential as a unified tourism destination.
According to figures from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the continent currently relies significantly on tourists from outside Africa, who account for 60% of total visitors.
“Any African can get on a plane to Rwanda whenever they wish and they will not pay a thing to enter our country,” said Kagame during the 23rd Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council.
“We should not lose sight of our own continental market. Africans are the future of global tourism as our middle class continues to grow at a fast pace in the decades to come,” he said.
Rwanda will become the latest African country to lift travel restrictions for fellow Africans, following Gambia, Benin, and Seychelles.
Similarly, Kenya’s President William Ruto recently announced plans to make visa-free travel to Kenya available to all Africans by December 31.