For the sake of future generations of West Africans, you cannot afford to fail

Roheen Berry

Tourism development is an excellent indicator of the success of such schemes: for every 36 new tourists in any given destination, one new job is created. In G20 countries visa facilitation has historically increased international tourist arrivals by 5-25% following the implementation of policy changes (according to a study by Tourism Economics for the UN). The actual gain depends largely on the specific visa facilitation actions taken and the markets affected.

Given the clear benefits to Africans, it is difficult to understand why visa facilitation measures have taken so long to be introduced. Cost can be an issue, as can the capacity of public sector organisations to develop and implement e-visa programmes.

Think-tanks have suggested solutions. As the Brookings Institute has said, one way to encourage the members of the Regional Economic Communities to open up their borders uniformly would be to replace the revenue that was created previously…

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