The Foreign Affairs Ministry has clarified that Ghana’s decision to introduce a visa-on-arrival policy for African citizens will not affect the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member states.
[contextly_sidebar id=”h3ciGkrDE2hGLKHML8lHp7Nc6n51CjaX”]President John Dramani Mahama, announced the decision in his State of the Nations address to the Ghanaian Parliament on February 25, 2016.
The decision, is a result of a resolution adopted at the African Union Executive Council meeting held earlier this year in Addis Ababa, which stipulated that AU Member States review their internal and external security realities in an attempt to implement mechanisms allowing for the issuing of visas on arrival for citizens of Member States, with the possibility of a 30-day stay.
A statement signed by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Hannah Tetteh however explained that the policy which is expected to commence in July this year, will not affect citizens of ECOWAS member states. This is contrary to some media reports that citizens of some ECOWAS countries will be affected.
Sections of the statement read, “We wish to state that this is not the case, and all ECOWAS citizens including those from the Federal Republic of Nigeria will continue to be allowed entry into Ghana as per the provisions of the ECOWAS Protocol A/P.1/5/79 relating to Free movement of persons, residence and establishment, and which allows citizens of ECOWAS states to travel within the region without having to obtain visas prior to undertaking their journey.”
The objectives of the visa on arrival policy is to open up Ghana to the rest of the continent and to stimulate increased air travel, trade, investments and tourism between our country and the rest of our continent.
Some airline operators have welcomed the decision but have cautioned on the need to develop an efficient security system to monitor and control the anticipated increased in traffic at the airports.
By: Vivian Kai Lokko/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana