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‘Visa on arrival or complete Visa waiver is the way forward’

ATC News by Wolfgang H. Thome

Teamafrica has commended the efforts of the AU leadership to bring about seamless travels within Africa for Africans.

The AU leaders launched a new African Passport at its annual General Assembly in Kigali for Diplomats as a way of bringing to the fore the issue of free and easy movement within the continent. For members of TeamAfrica who discussed the issue exhaustively it was agreed that the launch of the AU document is noteworthy but symbolic as it has no real value as at now.

Rwanda President Paul Kagame applauds Chad President Idriss Deby Itno who kisses the African Passport.
Rwanda President Paul Kagame applauds Chad President Idriss Deby Itno who kisses the African Passport.

They pointed out the difficulty of implementing the Yammousokro Decision to open African skies for Aviation which has not been implemented since 1999. According to the AU chairperson Dlamina Zulu this delay in implementing an AU decision since 2003 has cost Africa 40% market share in aviation on the continent.

The implementation of the African Passport may face similar difficulties. TTA argues that immediate implementation of Visa on Arrival for all Africans (Sic: or a complete Visa Waiver for that matter) is easier to Implement and adopt.

Ghana recently joined Rwanda and Seychelles (which requires no Visa from any nationality) in implementing VOA for all Africans and it has taken off successfully. The Team recommends this route as a faster way of integrating Africa while discussions on the modality of how implementation of the AU Passport is being worked out between Nations.

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