Nigeria took a decision to commence issuing visas on arrival to all African nationals, said the African Union (AU) on 13 October. This is a major measure for achieving the goal of free movement within Africa.
In a Facebook post, Kwesi Quartey, deputy chairman of the continental body, hailed the action and dubbed it a laudable measure for attaining the agenda of Africa’s integration.
A ‘single African passport’ was advocated by the AU with an objective of improving intra-African trade and the union called for the abolishing of visa requirements for all African nationals in all the countries of the continent by 2018.
Ebba Kalondo, a spokeswoman for the AU chairperson, was quoted The Associated Press as telling it that they were awaiting details from the Federal Republic of Nigeria as it was only announced verbally without any formal communication.
Nigerian officials could not be reached for comment. The legislation was announced by the West African country at a retreat for permanent representatives, said the AU’s political affairs office through a tweet.
AU figures state that Africans require visas to enter 55 percent of the world’s second most populous continent. 2017 Africa Visa Openness Report of the African Development Bank states that African citizens can obtain a visa on arrival to only 24 percent of other African nations, while it is easier for Europeans to travel freely across their continent.
It was suggested by the AU in February that unrestricted movement on the continent would require the enactment of visa-free regimes across Africa including the issuance of visas to Africans at ports of entry.
As of now, visas on arrival are being issued by Ghana, Mauritius, Rwanda and the Seychelles to all passport holders of Africa, the AU’s Quartey said.
The year 2016 saw the electronic AU Passport being launched. It was issued initially to heads of governments and states, with the aim of extending it to citizens later.
If you are looking to travel to any African country, get in touch with Y-Axis, a prominent firm for immigration services, to apply for a visit visa.