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Rwanda opens up for all Africans who can now travel visa-free

Travel and Hospitality

Rwanda opens travel visa-free

Rwanda became the latest government on the continent to declare a policy aimed at promoting free movement of people and trade to rival the Schengen zone of Europe.

A report citing information gathered by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, President Paul Kagame made the announcement in the capital city of Rwanda, Kigali declaring on Thursday that they will provide Africans entry into the country without the need for a visa. He highlighted Africa's potential as "a unified tourism destination" there, highlighting the fact that 60% of travelers to the continent still come from outside of it.

After they take effect, Rwanda will be the fourth country in Africa to remove travel restrictions for its citizens. Other countries that do not require a visa for their nationals are the Seychelles, Benin, and the Gambia.

On Monday, President William Ruto of Kenya declared that by December 31, all Africans would be able to enter the country of East Africa without a visa.

In 2016, the African Union (AU) launched the African passport with much fanfare, claiming that it will "unleash the potential of the continent" in a way similar to the European Union. However, only diplomats and AU officials have been able to use the travel passport up until now.

The AU also established the African Continental Free Trade Area, a free trade area spanning the entire continent with an estimated value of $3.4 trillion. Its goals are to support economic expansion and give the 1.3 billion people who live on the continent access to a single, united market.

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