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Africa Visa Openness Index

Visa openness is about facilitating free movement of people. It is about getting more people mobile, to carry out their business easily, spontaneously, quickly, with minimum cost. That applies whether you are a businessman or woman, a student or researcher, a cross-border trader or entrepreneur, reuniting with friends and family or just traveling to visit the sights.

Visa openness is a vital step forward towards a more integrated Africa. There are huge potential gains to be had for countries and regions across Africa in having more visa-open policies for other Africans. That holds true whether it is to help plug skills gaps in the labour market, promote entrepreneurship, diversify the economy, add value to services, or whether it is to attract investment and boost competitiveness.

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.

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Disclaimer: The Index is a collaborative effort between the Bank, McKinsey & Company and the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Africa (WEF GAC). Its primary objective is to support the implementation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063. The countries included in the Index are all AUC member states and AfDB regional member countries. Annex II is the proprietary work of McKinsey & Co and the WEF GAC.


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