KIGALI – In a bid to promote free movement of people and foster unity within the African continent, Rwanda has declared that it will allow visa-free travel for all Africans.
President Paul Kagame made the announcement during the 23rd Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council, held in Kigali.
He emphasized the potential of Africa as a unified tourism destination, acknowledging that the continent currently relies on 60% of its tourists from outside Africa.
Kagame stated, “Any African can get on a plane to Rwanda whenever they wish and they will not pay a thing to enter our country.”
He further emphasized the significance of the African market and its growing middle class in shaping the future of global tourism.
Rwanda will become the fourth African nation to remove travel restrictions for Africans once this measure is implemented.
Other countries that have waived visa requirements for African nationals include Gambia, Benin, and Seychelles.
Additionally, Kenya’s President William Ruto announced plans to allow visa-free travel to all Africans in Kenya by December 31, emphasizing that visa restrictions among African nations hinder trade, travel, and economic progress.
However, as of now, only diplomats and AU officials have been issued the travel document.
The African Union has also launched the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), an initiative expected to create a unified market for Africa’s 1.3 billion people and foster economic development, estimated to be worth $3.4 trillion.
The move by Rwanda and other African countries to promote visa-free travel for Africans demonstrates a growing commitment to regional integration and boosting intra-African tourism and trade, aligning with the African Union’s vision for a more connected and prosperous continent.