Imagine an Africa where you can travel from Ghana to Nigeria, from Kenya to South Africa or from Sudan to Senegal with no visas. What about having to go in and out of your country for business by just showing your ”African passport” at the airport or border? Travel remains one of the most essential facets of everyday life. All over the world, many people travel for several reasons, including for business, for fun and leisure. No matter the need for traveling, it remains certain that having undeniable access to your destination as well as having a smooth, uninterrupted and hustle-free travel is the main dream of every traveller. During the just ended 27th African Union (AU) Summit in Kigali, The African Union (AU) launched the ”Pan African Passport”. This continental passport is expected to enable free movement of persons on the African continent and speed up economic growth. The passport will also promote the development of many African countries as well as Intra-African trade. Jumia Travel, Africa’s leading online hotel travel website looks below at the Pan-African passport as a solution to travel in Africa.
Waking up in the second largest continent in the globe and realizing the goal of travel made easy with the Pan-African passport has been the dream of many Africans. Businesses and tourists are the main beneficiaries to this massive development. Similar to the Schengen visa of the Europeans, the Pan African Passport will be a great addition to the already fast growing trans-African integration. Here are a few solutions this passport will bring.
Ease of travel across Africa
The need for travel is mostly limited to only a small bracket of people. In most cases, only businessmen or tourists are thought to travel. Agreeably, they are the most frequent travellers to varying destinations across the length and breadth of the continent. However, individuals also travel for many other reasons. Either to meet long lost friends and family or to attend special events. The satisfaction of knowing they can go anywhere in the continent without time-limits and unnecessary boundaries is just what they seek. The introduction of this Pan-African passport will allow fast and easy travel throughout Africa without the stress and hustle of having to apply for visas and queuing for long hours to secure entry into another African country. This will end up increasing the rate of trans-African trade. The Pan-African passport will indeed be a solution to the travel hitches we are currently facing.
International Trust & Unity
Currently, certain laws and policies restrict intra-African travel due to lack of trust and unity among certain countries. This is also not helped by the instability in many countries and the spread of deadly diseases. This makes it very difficult for some countries to allow the entry of certain nationals into their country. The end result is an apathy-infested continent. With a common continental passport for all Africans which will be coordinated to ensure that health and security checks are made before issuance or renewal, this problem is just about to go extinct. Now, borders will be open once the passport is verified and the traveller declared safe and healthy to enter. The lengthy times taken at borders to check visas and confirm a lot of other documents and details will be greatly reduced since all the information needed by the immigration officials will be in just one book.
Increase in African travel
How many Africans travel per year? How many Africans have visited another African country at least once in their lifetime? The numbers are appalling or underwhelming to say the very least. Whereas in other continents such as the United States of Americas and Europe, intra-continental travel is a common practice; the story is different in Africa. Out there, one can easily travel from Spain to France, from the UK to Sweden or from Argentina to Brazil or Ecuador without any hitches or travel issues by just a wave of their passport or one book. The systems and processes are fast and very efficient. The new Pan African passport will completely resolve this problem in our continent. The increase in travel will bring about increased revenue in the tourism and hospitality industries hence contributing to national and continental development.
Reduction in travel cost
Have you ever had to cancel travel plans because the total cost was just too high? Have you boycotted a business trip because the total cost of acquiring visas or paying agents to secure visas was just outrageous? This can be very frustrating. In our own continent? The time has come where every African can travel to other countries at little or no fees depending on the regulations of the destination country. Now you can travel freely with no headache about exorbitant visa fees or being duped and frauded by agents. By acquiring a Pan-African passport, you solve all of these issues. Just book your flight and hotel or accommodation, pick your bags and go. That’s how easy travel will become in Africa.
Growth of Tourism and Hospitality in Africa
Finally, the issue about growth and development of Tourism in Africa is a major concern for most Governments. How to increase revenue and make systems and policies that ensure a consistent growth of this particular sector of the economy is a main agenda for almost every nation in Africa. The main stumbling blocks used to be free travel, attracting tourists and reducing cost of travel. These are a few strategies that will increase the number of visiting travellers or tourists and thereby have a positive effect on revenues. The introduction of this Passport will above all allow more travel and make it very simple for people to visit other African countries to explore and experience different cultures and traditions. The great and epic stories being heard about the famous Timbuktu, Ashanti, Zulus and other tribes can now be heard and seen in real life by simply taking a vacation to selected countries of interest. The tourism and hospitality sectors will gain a good boost because of this.