Ethiopia’s online visa application – only one African country is eligible!

Hailemariam Desalegn – Ethiopian Prime Minister

Ethiopia on June 12, 2017 announced an online visa application process to ease visa processes to travellers to that country, but only one African country out of the 54, is eligible to use the platform with two others exempt, because these two countries have visa exempt agreements with Ethiopia.

Out of the 39 countries eligible to apply for visa online, including North Korea, some Western and Latin American countries, the only African country eligible to apply for an e-visa is South Africa. The other two African countries on the list, Kenya and Djibouti, have visa exempt deals with Ethiopia.

In a press release issued Tuesday June 13, 2017 and copied to, 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 news initially sounds exciting, until one gets into the details.

Travelling within Africa by Africans is the most difficult thing to do – the obstacles are many, including strict visa regulations among the countries and the high cost of air travel and often unavailable airline connections.

It is curious that last July, the African Union Commission, headquartered in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, launched the African Passport at its Summit in Kigali, Rwanda in July 2016 to ease travel across the continent and Ghana around that same period implemented a visa on arrival for all members of the African Union.

Currently, Africans require visas to travel to 55 per cent of countries on the continent.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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