In a significant move aimed at fostering the free movement of people and trade within the continent, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has declared that Rwanda will grant visa-free travel to all Africans.
This decision aligns Rwanda with other African nations pursuing a more integrated continent, reminiscent of Europe’s Schengen zone, a coalition of 27 European countries that has eliminated the need for passports and border control measures at their shared borders.
During a speech in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, President Kagame articulated his vision for a more unified Africa, highlighting the continent’s tremendous potential as a collective tourism destination.
Currently, Africa heavily relies on visitors from outside the continent, constituting 60% of its total tourism traffic, as reported by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
President Kagame expressed, “Any African can board a flight to Rwanda at any time, and they will not be required to pay an entry fee into our country.”
He emphasized the importance of not losing sight of the vast continental market, asserting that Africans represent the future of global tourism, given the rapid growth of the middle class in the decades to come.
Rwanda is now poised to join the ranks of African nations that have abolished travel restrictions for fellow Africans, a list that includes Gambia, Benin, and Seychelles.