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Ethiopia starts online visa application

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The government of Ethiopia has announced the commencement of online visa application and issuance to prospective travellers to the country.

In a press release issued Tuesday June 13, 2017 and copied to ghanabusinessnews.com, the Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs main Department says it has in collaboration with the country’s airline, Ethiopian Airlines, finalized preparations of the initial phase to commence an e-visa service for international visitors to Ethiopia effective June 12, 2017.

“The e- visa is processed and issued online on a single Web page where applicants apply, pay and secure their entry visa online. Once the online application is approved, applicants will receive an email authorizing them to travel to Ethiopia and they will get their passport stamped with the visa upon arrival in Addis Ababa,” it says.

“This project is part of a new national initiative to transform the tourism sector in the country. The full commencement of the Online Visa application and issuance system will promote tourism, trade and investment to the country. It will save time, energy and cost for travelers to Ethiopia in addition to the simplicity and convenience that it facilitates. With direct flights to/from more than 95 destinations from all corners of the world operated by the most modern airplanes, we will continue to make travel to Ethiopia, dependable, easy, convenient and affordable,” the Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam was quoted to have said.

Commenting, the Director, Main Department for Immigration & Nationality Affairs, Mr Gebreyohannes Teklu, said, “ We are glad that we have been working together with Ethiopian Airlines for the effective implementation of e-visa facilities at Bole International Airport. Now international visitors to Ethiopia, from countries provisioned for visa upon arrival, will make use of this service. Moreover, we have set up separate counters to process the visas of travelers under electronic travel authorization.”

Visa regulations among African countries, in addition to expensive air travel costs are among the obstacles to citizens of the continent who want to travel.  For Africa’s 1.2 billion citizens of the 54 countries, to travel to 55 per cent of the countries on the continent, they need visas. However, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB)’s Visa Openness Index 2016, overall, Africans were able to travel more freely across the continent in 2016 as visa openness levels improved compared to 2015.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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