#VISAFREEAFRICA : Raising Momentum on AfricaDay!
Today marks the anniversary of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity — the body that later became the African Union. On this important day, Africans are reminded the courage and vision that Africans leaders such as Emperor Haile Selassie and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah had to reclaim African unity.
54 years later, According to the AfDB Africa visa Openness Index (2016), African countries are more closed off to each other than open:
- Africans need visas to travel to 55%of other African countries
- Africans can get visas on arrival to 25% of other African countries
- Africans don’t need a visa to travel to 20% of other African countries.
The real question then becomes how can we be one people if I am not even allowed to visit you?
Ahead of the African Union summit that took place in Rwanda July 18th 2016, The Kigali Global Shapers community in Kigali launched a Visa Free Africa Campaign to remind that free movement is still an issue that affects African youth.
The aim of the petition is to humanize the need for free movement on the continent, to create a sense of ownership across the continent and to engage with policy makers to remove barriers to free movement.
On this Africa day, the Kigali Shapers are proud to see the Global Shapers Community joining our call to action under the #OpenAfrica Initiative.
We re-affirm the need for urgency for African countries to have:
- A clear plan with deadlines to achieve a Visa-Free
- To grant in less than 5 years at least a 30-day visa on arrival to all African
We believe, together we can achieve this part of agenda 2063 before 2023.
Happy Africa Day!
The Kigali Shapers