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After Rwanda, Ethiopia Now Allows All Africans To Visit Without VISA

Africa

After Rwanda, Ethiopia Now Allows All Africans To Visit Without VISA

Following the footsteps of Rwanda, Ethiopia will now onwards allow all African nationals to visit the country without a visa.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made the revelation during a state banquet on Friday in Addis Ababa where he hosted Rwandan President Paul Kagame who was on a three-day official visit and held bilateral talks at the National Palace.

“The President invited all Africans to travel to Rwanda without visas, we will follow you very soon,” the Prime Minister said in reference to President Kagame’s visa free policy in Rwanda.

According Abiy Ahmed, the visa free policy will open up Ethiopia to fellow African visitors, and it will undoubtedly ease the free movement of African nationals and boost tourism.

In Rwanda’s case, the policy has seen an increase in tourists, 1.3 million visitor arrivals in 2017 alone.

Ethiopia’s move has attracted jubilation across the continent with many Africans inferring to this act as gesture of African unity.

A state luncheon and banquet were held in President Kagame’s honour.

“President Kagame is a freedom fighter, great gift for the people of Rwanda and for the continent. After fighting for freedom it is difficult to establish institutions, but when you go to Rwanda you can see how this leader has changed the country,” the Prime Minister said.

The two leaders also toured Hawassa Industrial Park, a facility expected to generate around 60,000 jobs and $1 billion in export revenues. Hawassa Industrial Park has so far attracted 18 leading global apparel and textile companies.

President Kagame once again congratulated Prime Minister Abiy; “for being the leader he deserves to be, the trust and confidence put in him by this great nation was for a good reason.”

After the tour, the gifts, and the hospitality, President Kagame thanked his host for the good time wells spent. “I cannot thank you enough, it has been a great moment for us, we can only move forward hand in hand and work together.”

Kagame, who looked sharp and happy in an Ethiopian made jacket, said he was grateful for the “nice gift” and joked that, “I may stay in it for many more hours and days.”

This was after receiving a cow and its calf. “Thank you for the great gift that touches right to the heart of who we are and the many things in our culture which we share,” Kagame said. “This is a very nice cow and its calf, it will increase the size of my herd and will have a special position.”

He also offered the Prime Minister an art piece of a warrior displaying a Rwandan warrior dance. “When you have a herd of cows or are a leader of a nation, you have a warrior and leadership spirit but you also need to enjoy the pleasure of dancing,” Kagame explained the art.

It was time to fly back home.

“It has been a very pleasant time of connecting heart to heart. This means we will be back many other times and for longer. We hope to see the Prime Minister, regional leaders, other leaders, brothers and sisters visit our country,” he said.

 

 

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