12 June 2017

Note: This article first appeared on the Sawubona blog (South African Airways’ official in-flight magazine)

While the Seychelles has retained its position as the number one African nation in allowing free entry to all African travellers, Ghana has been ranked as having covered the most ground towards realising visa-free travel on the continent, according to the African Development Bank’s Africa Visa Openness Report 2017.

The annual report, released in collaboration with the AU Commission and the World Economic Forum, ranks 42 out of the 54 African countries according to their “visa openness” and the ease at which travellers can enter the respective countries.

In 2016, the AU launched its visa-free passport, with the aim of ultimately realising “the dream of visa-free travel for African citizens within their own continent by 2020,” a statement read.

In the wake of significant progress towards realising freedom of movement across all borders on the continent, Ghana moved from 22 on the list of countries to 6th place in 2016, while East Africa had the largest share of countries that were the most progressive as far as visa-free travel was concerned.

Other countries noted to have made considerable progress included SA, having introduced a 10-year visa for traders, business travellers and academics, as well as allowing for multiple entries. SA ranked 34th on the list, after Sierra Leone at 33rd place and above Liberia, which came in at 35th spot.