The African Union’s 2063 Agenda contains plans for a common visa policy that has the ambitious goal of a single, continental passport by 2020. There are challenges of implementing the plan include associated risks of widespread economic migration. The movement of illegal goods, cross-border terrorism. And also the issue of stateless individuals. Nevertheless, significant progress has been made regionally and nationally. With it benefits that demonstrate the effectiveness of the policy in terms of stimulating economic growth.
According to the second Africa Visa Openness Index, released mid this year, 75 percent of the countries in the top 20 most visa-open countries are in either Eastern or West Africa, while 20 percent are in Southern Africa.
“Only 20 percent of nations allow Africans to enter without visas, with 25 percent offering visas on arrival,” adds the report commissioned by the African Development Bank.
Only one country in the top 20 most open to visas is in North Africa (Mauritania), while no countries in Central Africa appear in the top 20.
But That May Be About To Change in Six Countries.
Six countries in central and western Africa have breathed life into long-running plans. This is to allow visa-free movement of people among their nations. At a summit in the Chadian capital of N’Djamena, the countries formally declared late Tuesday that the scheme had now been ratified by all members.
The agreement gathers six francophone states. That includes Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo. Including also in a bloc called the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC).
Negotiations on the deal began more than 15 years ago. It culminates in a draft agreement in 2013 that awaited ratification by all its members.