As part of its new Free Skies program, Ineng seeks to reduce barriers to travel and business within Africa.
Visa-Free Travel in Africa
Making travel easy, simple and affordable is an important step towards boosting business, trade and tourism. One of the hassles associated with international travel is the process of applying for a visa.
Applying for a visa can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive. In addition, applying for a Visa often requires that flights and accommodation are booked in advance. If the Visa is denied, there is the risk of losing some (if not all) of those costs. This makes travel that much more risky for would-be travelers and business people.
In order to encourage inter-African travel for both tourism and business, government should take steps towards reducing the hassles and costs associated with travelling by easing visa regulations.
Countries within the European Union have made travel easy and effortless, with EU citizens no longer required to show passports while travelling within the Schengen Area. In contrast, travel within Africa requires citizens to acquire visas for the many African states.
Examples of restrictive Visa Policies
South Africa (above) – Only 14 out of 54 African countries granted visa-free access.
Nigeria (above) – Only 18 out of 54 African countries granted visa-free access.
However, some African nations have taken the approach of encouraging travel by having very open and easy visa policies.
Examples of open Visa Policies
Rwanda (above) – 54 out of 54 African countries granted visas on arrival.
Kenya (above) – 18 out of 54 African countries granted visa-free access. All but six others can obtain a visa on arrival.
Where Business and Entrepreneurs can take Stand
Ineng believes it is important for entrepreneurs and business people to speak out against excessive visa regulations and urge governments to move towards more innovative approaches to travel security.
One option is to adopt new technologies, such as Turkey’s innovative e-visa system. An e-visa costs $20 and you can pay using a credit or debit card. You can apply up to 3 months in advance of your travel date.
Turkey’s visa policies, including e-visas.
South Africa is harming its economy with recent Visa regime changes – Olumayowa Okediran