RWANDA TOURIST VISA ‘EXONORATION’ FOR U.S. CITIZENS

Posted on September 9, 2013

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I’ve posted about the AFRICA REPORT’S COVER ARTICLE “30 DARING IDEAS SHAKING UP AFRICA”in relation to the SCRAP SHORT TERM TOURIST VISAS TO GHANA campaign.

Here is the pertinent quote on Visas:

“VISA, ONE PASSPORT FOR ONE PEOPLE: Applying for visas can be a headache. After the heady days of the pan-African post-independence movement, African countries returned to more nationalistic border controls. Apart from the Economic Community of West African States and more recently the East African Community, a majority of countries require visas for visiting Africans. Rwanda’s decision on 1 January to allow all citizens of African countries to get their visas on arrival may trigger a rethinking of attitudes, opening up possibilities for greater trade and migration. The African Union is also considering proposals for a continent-wide “uni-visa”. Opening borders opens minds.”

But I missed the point regarding the reference to Rwanda and I’d even posted it on the Scrap FB page on July 24th as an argument for Scrapping Short Term Tourist Visas to Ghana:

Here it is: from the Scrap FB page copied and pasted right off the website of the Rwandan Embassy in the United States:

Christopher Scott

Information on Rwanda Embassy in Washington, D.C.

“III. VISA EXONERATION

LISTED BELOW ARE COUNTRIES EXEMPTED FROM VISA TO RWANDA:

Kenya
United States of America
Uganda
Sweden
Burundi Great Britain
Tanzania Germany
Democratic Republic of Congo Hong Kong
South Africa
Mauritius”

NOW WHY CAN’T GHANA TRY SOMETHING LIKE THIS EVEN IF ONLY ON A PILOT BASIS TO START WITH? WHAT A DIFFERENCE IT WOULD MAKE-AT LEAST WE’D BE IN THE RUNNING TO ATTRACT THAT 40% OF TRAVELERS WHO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LAST MINUTE BOOKING.

NOW THIS IS A DARING IDEA FOR TOURISM PROMOTION! THIS IS WHAT SHOULD BE EMULATED ACROSS THE CONTINENT!

But instead here in Ghana we have increasingly stringent regulations and long backlogs of applications at Ghanaian embassies and consulates, I refer specifically to t New York and Washington.

Why shouldn’t U.S. citizens be granted a visa exoneration on a pilot basis. In actual fact, the timing would be perfect since 2013 marks the 50ieth year of Peace Corps in Ghana, the first Sub Saharan country Peace Corps ventured in.

President Kennedy greeting the first batch of Peace Corps headed off to Ghana in 1963

President Kennedy greeting the first batch of Peace Corps headed off to Ghana in 1963

And hey I haven’t mentioned the U.S Funding of the Construction of National Marine Police Training Academy, and oh so many other interventions. Just check out the celebration of U.S. support of Ghana on the US Embassy Facebook Page.

Let’s go Ghana Policy makers, let’s think outside of the box, try a pilot project.

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