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Ghana to join Nigeria next year on e-visa to boost tourism

Barely one year after Nigeria introduced e-Visa on entry to drive seamless arrival documentations for credible investors and tourism, Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has announced that the government would launch e-visa next year.

He said “Tourists and investors plus travelers did not need to visit the Embassies for visas, but only have to complete an online application form with details such as their names, digital addresses and passport numbers as well as the travel date.”

“Additionally, there would be a Single Air Transport Market to bolster air-transport and advance the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) operationalisation, as Ghana is hosting the AfCTA Secretariat.

Giving further insights on the new policy at the opening of the First Regional Congress on Women Empowerment in the Tourism Sector with focus on Africa, held on the theme: “Building the future together” in Accra, he charged tourism stakeholders to use tourism as a means to tackle some of the common challenges facing Africa, including; poverty, illiteracy, diseases, outmoded cultural practices and mismanagement of the natural resources.

Business Hilights Ghana Bureau chief reports that the two-day event attracted key stakeholders in the tourism industry in Africa and beyond, and high profile personalities including; Maria Begona Gomez Fernandez, the First Lady of Spain, Mrs Auxillia Mnangagwa, the First Lady of Zimbabwe, Mr Zurah Pololikashvili, the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organisation, Mr Ronald Chitotela, Chairperson of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Regional Commission for Africa, who is also the Minister of Tourism and Arts of Zambia.

Recall that the UN World Tourism Organisation’s 2016 Highlights report indicated that Africa received nearly 55.3 million international tourists in 2014, with the Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 63 per cent of the number.

Citing Africa 2063 Agenda for transforming the Continent into a global powerhouse, Vice President Bawumia urged African nations to align their tourism plans with the aspirations projected in the plan.

It was imperative for the African Union (AU) to oversee that there was consistent and sustainable tourism development across all member countries, he added.

According to him, “Advancing tourism’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) not only requires political will and private sector commitment, but also new and better financing framework, especially if we are to empower women and the youth to build the future together.

“Let’s increase the reach of multilateral development banks and donor countries to recognise women’s role in achieving the SDGs goals for tourism,” the Vice President said.