About the Report

About the project

The Africa Visa Openness Index measures how open African countries are when it comes to visas by looking at what they ask of citizens from other countries in Africa when they travel. It aims to show at a glance which countries are facilitating travel for citizens of other countries and how: whether they allow people to travel to their country without a visa, if travellers can get a visa on arrival in the country or if visitors need to get a visa before travel.

Data on visa openness was collected between September 2016 and January 2017. The primary source of information was the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and various questionnaires sent to national focal points.

We’re not just talking about liberalizing visas so that people can move. We need to be able to remove all the tari and non-tari barriers that separate us 

Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank Group

Importance of Visa Openness

Free movement of people is a cornerstone of regional integration and the African Development Bank’s vision to create the next global market in Africa. Creating larger, more attractive markets and supporting intra-African trade are boosted by greater mobility. When business people and traders move more easily across the continent, thanks to liberal visa policies, they bring higher levels of investment, fresh skills and expand the range of goods and services on offer.

The Africa Visa Openness Index is tracking changes in country scores over time to show which countries are making improvements that support freer movement of people across Africa. In future editions, the Report will look at how countries are facilitating visa openness by cutting time, reducing costs or simplifying the visa process as well as how far a visitor’s experience on the ground matches up to the agreements or visa policies in place on paper.