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The Gambia, Seychelles and Benin Tops Africa Visa Openness Index 2020

17 Dec 2020

According to www.pulse.ng, 20 countries moved upwards in rank on the Index, while 50 countries improved or maintained their scores. The report shows a significant rise in e-Visas, offered by 24 countries in Africa.

Senegal, Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria and Cape Verde complete the first 10 ranking on the index.
Equatorial Guinea and Libya ranked 53rd each, scoring 0.019 with one country each travelling to these countries without a visa and 52 others requiring visas.

Notwithstanding the gains made, findings show that African citizens still need visas to travel to 46 per cent of African countries. Countries in East and West Africa rank highest among the top performers, worthy of emulation by countries in the other regions.

The Index’s findings reinforce the benefits of prioritizing visa openness solutions in large and small economies, with the biggest gains accruing to business, investment, innovation and tourism. Further facilitating the free movement of people, goods and services, becomes even more important with the start of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on 1 January 2021.

This fifth edition of the Index also highlights the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens to reverse Africa’s economic gains of recent years, affecting sectors from tourism through to investment. As travel restrictions ease and safety measures are put in place to contain the pandemic, sustaining progress and momentum on more comfortable continent-wide travel is vital.

A visa is an endorsement –through a certificate or stamp in a travel document— showing that a particular visitor is allowed to enter a country for a specific length of time and for specific activities.

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