President John Mahama of Ghana is welcoming all Africans with open arms – or as in this case a Visa-free entry. During Ghana’s 59th independence anniversary, stressing on African unity, President Mahama announced that citizens from all African Union member states will be offered Visa on arrival when visiting the country.
During his address, he said;
“With effect from July this year, we will be allowing citizens of AU Member States to enter our country and obtain visas on arrival with the option to stay for up to thirty days and experience what our country has to offer.
This measure, with time, should stimulate air travel, trade, investment and tourism.
Ghana currently allows free entry to only 15 countries, most of them being members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Visa on arrival is inherently rare among African countries. Reports have shown that it is easier for a wielder of an American passport to travel to African states than for Africans. This no doubt poses a limit to interstate trade and relations among African state members. Seychelles is the only African country with open Visa access to member states of the African Union.
This new policy to be implemented by Ghana was influenced by an agreement adopted at the AU Executive Council meeting which held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The resolution required that all African Union member states review their internal and external security realities in an attempt to implement mechanisms allowing for the issuing of visas on arrival for citizens of member states, with the possibility of a 30-day stay.
We hope Ghana’s decision will be the real beginning of Pan Africanism, as other African states follow suit to achieve One Africa.