Visa-on-arrival service provided by African countries paves ways for African socio-economic integration, according to Partakers.
The Visa-on-arrival launching ceremony was organized by the Ethiopian government on Thursday here at the premises of African Union Commission.
State Minister with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hirut Zemene said that Ethiopia has started issuing visa on arrival for African citizens as of October 30, 2018.
“The Pan African vision of our founding fathers of a united, integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa at the inception of the organization of the African Union in 1963 is more than ever sounding at this point in our history.”
“Facilitating the free movement of African citizens should be at the forefront of our development agenda to realize a prosperous and integrated Africa”, she emphasized.
The economic integration of our continent is crucial in harnessing our vast resources for the benefit of our people and to exploit our full potential to develop it, she said.
As to her, free movement of peoples enhances this idea through boosting investment, trade and tourism.
Increased movement of people, goods and services will be a catalyst to put in place the necessary infrastructures that easily connect the continent, she noted.
She assures that Ethiopia as a founding member of the OAU/AU and host of the union will continue to be on the forefront to provide to the pan African vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.
For his part, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat underlined that visa on arrival and e-visa for all African citizens will greatly enhance the status of Addis Ababa as the political capital of the continent and also boosts tourism.
He has also expressed gratitude to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for the commitment to realize this landmark step.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said that as per the African Union’s objectives of realizing the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), Ethiopian Airlines will use this opportunity to promote its destinations. “Currently, the Airlines have 59 destinations in the continent”, he added.
As to him, this move highly motivates Ethiopian Airlines that is gaining momentum through interconnecting Africa with the rest of the world.
On the event, ambassadors of different African countries at the AU underscored that this measure opens more opportunities, integrate the continent and promote the historical ties of African countries more than ever.
Accordingly, experts said the ongoing visa on arrival system is a roadmap towards boosting intra-African trade, investment and tourism. (EPA)