Ghana offers visas to African nationals

Ghana visa measure comes ahead of AU launch of African passport.

Short-term visas are now being offered to all African nationals arriving in Ghana, in line with the country’s commitment to the African Union (AU) plan of a single African electronic passport.

Ghana’s policy allows citizens of all 54 AU member states to obtain visas for up to 30 days on arriving in the country, and is seen as a step towards the eventual implementation of free movement across the continent.

Ghana already permits visa-free travel for citizens of the 15 member states of regional bloc Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) however its new visa policy will not affect the existing ECOWAS arrangement.

Ghana’s president John Dramani Mahama said the move would “stimulate air trade, investment and tourism” however airline operators including South African Airways have called for a robust security system to be put in place to prevent any abuse of the visa scheme.

The measure has been welcomed by the AU which is preparing to launch its all-African passport at the upcoming AU summit in Rwandan capital Kigali in mid-July.