ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has launched visa on arrival service for all African travelers as of November 1, 2018.
The event was graced by State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Hirut Zemene, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, State Minister of Peace, Zeynu Jemal, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam, among other government officials, diplomatic corps and invited guests.
On the occasion, Mrs. Hirut said the Government of Ethiopia under the leadership of Prime Minister Dr. Abiy had decided to offer visa-on-arrival services to African citizens with the view to realizing the vision of “our founding fathers”- to see a peaceful and integrated Africa, where minds, ideas and markets are open to trade.
“The issuance of visa on arrival for all Africans will clearly demonstrate our resolute to the ideals and objectives of the African Union and determinations to continue to play rightful roles towards free movement of people and the realization of our integration agenda,” she added.
As it was clearly stated in Agenda 2063, the development of Africa depends on the potential of its people, especially women and youth. In line with this, the State Minister noted that Ethiopia’s Prime Minister set a major milestone in Africa’s effort towards women empowerment and equal access to high level political-decision making position by appointing a gender balanced cabinet.
Hirut further noted that the free movement of people enhances continental integration, given its potential in boosting trade, investment and tourism.
Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat congratulated the Government of Ethiopia for taking such a great step. He added that “This measure demonstrates Ethiopia’s commitment for the fulfillment of AU’s Agenda 2063”.
Mr. Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, said that he was honored and privileged to witness this historic and truly inspirational day. He observed that, Ethiopian Airlines had been bringing Africa together and closer to the world for over 7 decades.
“Today, Ethiopian flies to 60 African destinations and connects the continent to over 50 major international cities in 5 continents. Visa on arrival for fellow African brothers and sisters and more importantly, visa online will greatly boost cross-border tourism, trade and investment, further deepening African integration,” added Tewolde.
He also said that throughout Ethiopia Airlines seventy plus years of service, the Pan-African Carrier had been bringing Africa together and closer to the world. Thanks to its unwavering commitments and efforts to bridge the air connectivity vacuum in the African skies thus commanding the lion’s share of the intra-African network.