• The launch of the African Union (AU) passport in July 2016 marked a step forward towards the aspirations of a common visa policy across the continent, which is included in the African Union’s (AU) 2063 agenda.
• This step is part of a wider plan that includes visa-on-arrival for all African nationals, mandatory granting of a minimum 30-day visa for African citizens visiting any African country by 2018, and the goal of a single, continental passport by 2020.
• According to the World Bank, by 2021, 75% of travellers in sub- Saharan Africa will be from Africa , a figure that shows the importance of open visa policies.
• In the past few years, the continent has made some improvement towards less visa requirements, as Africa continues to have the highest percentage of countries whose visitors are able to obtain a visa on arrival (28%) .
• For instance in 2008, Africans comprised on average 88% of the world’s population to apply for a traditional visa prior to departure. This has decreased to 57% in 2015, as a result of travel facilitation measures such as visas on arrival and e-visa.
• However, it is easier for an American or many European citizens to travel within Africa than it is for Africans.
• Only 13 African countries including Seychelles, Mali, Uganda, Cape Verde, Togo, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Burundi, Comoros, Madagascar, and Djibouti, offer liberal access to all African citizens.
• Only 9 African countries offer e-visa, including Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
• The use of traditional visas is more prevalent in Central Africa (92%) and North Africa (84%).
2. Regional Trends
• There are clear region...
... middle of paper ...
...reements in place to waive visa requirements.
• CEN-SAD has also been slow in moving towards more open visa policies, but many of its member states have been increasingly liberalizing their policies and have successfully implemented schemes to foster the intraregional movement of people.
• Nevertheless, the primary reason for CEN-SAD’s success is the overlapping memberships with ECOWAS, which are far along in liberalizing cross-border mobility restrictions.
• The primary reason for this success is the overlapping memberships with ECOWAS that are far along in liberalizing cross-border mobility restrictions.
• In the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), only three out of five members have implemented the freedom of movements’ protocol, including Tunisia, Libya and Morocco.
• However, only Tunisia allows citizens from fellow member states to access its territories freely.
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