Can you imagine visiting another African country and not having to pay for a visa? As though there was no border at all? Well East Africa’s most innovative country Rwanda is considering waiving visa fees for a broad category of visitors entering the country. This comes from President Kagame at the United Kindom-Africa Summit being hosted in London this week.
The waiver if eventually passed will mean that all Africans, citizens of Commonwealth nations and the Francophone will be admitted into Rwanda without having to pay visa fees.
According to the state broadcaster, the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, RBA, Kagame disclosed the proposed exemption as part of his engagements in London, where he attended the maiden United Kingdom – Africa summit.
“The Commonwealth is a community of values, with continued relevance for today’s world. More than one-third of its member states are African. These are the reasons why Rwanda chose to join in 2009.
“In that connection, we are soon considering exempting citizens of the Commonwealth, as well as the African Union and the Francophone, from paying visa fees when entering Rwanda,” President Kagame said.
Next June, Rwanda will host the 26 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM 2020. Rwanda’s visa-openness has earned it top place as one of the most open in the yearly visa openness index publications.
Rwanda from January 1, 2018 started a global visa free entry for all travellers. A communique released by the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration said all travellers could enjoy 30 days visa on arrival under the regime.
That being the case, some entrants were required to pay a fee where applicable. The November 16, 2017 document read in part: “30 days visa upon arrival – Citizens of all countries to get visa upon arrival without prior approval, starting 01 January 2018. Before that, only African countries and few others were getting visa upon arrival.”