Gov’t accelerates E-visa programme


…eyes boom in tourism, hospitality post COVID-19

The nation is set to join the likes of Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa and issue Electronic Visas (E-visa) by end of the year, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, has said. According to him, the move will add to the many initiatives government wants to introduce to ignite the country’s tourism potential after the successful implementation of the Year of Return initiative in 2019.

He envisages that tourism will be the more sought-after with the simmering of COVID-19 pandemic, as many people, both foreigners and locals, will want to have some time to cool-off.

With this in mind, he noted that efforts to get the nation’s E-visa rolling are being accelerated, as the entity that will be given the mandate to be in charge of executing the service on behalf of government will be selected soon.

“The E-visa process is out on tender, and we are hopeful that by end of the year we would have gone very far so that people will have the flexibility. If they want to come to Ghana next week, they need not have a headache; they just apply online and come,” Mr. Agyeman told the B&FT in an interview.

He added that with vaccination gaining momentum across the world, it is hoped that the globe will soon attain herd-immunity and this will pave the way for travelling. “With vaccination going on around the world, travel will pick up; and we have to position the country to benefit,” Mr. Agyeman added.

Reform of the Ghana visa policy is being implemented as part of the US$40million Ghana Tourism Development Project (GTDP) funded by the World Bank, which aims to significantly boost the tourism and hospitality sectors.

The E-visa will significantly improve the current process of applying for a Ghanaian visa for international travellers, as it will eliminate the need for foreign citizens to travel long distances to apply at a Ghana embassy or consulate in person.

Meanwhile, the full electronic Ghana visa requirements, the cost of the Ghana visa online, and whether the E-visa will be a multiple entry visa have yet to be confirmed.

However, Mr. Agyeman said travellers with an approved Ghanaian E-visa will be able to enter the country at Kotoka International Airport (KIA). In addition to removing the need for many foreign citizens to obtain a visa from a Ghanaian embassy or consulate, the E-visa programme will also eliminate long waiting times at the border for those who currently need to obtain a Ghana visa on arrival.

There are only a few Ghana visa-free countries: all other nationalities currently either need to get a Ghanaian embassy visa in advance of travel or come from one of the ‘Ghana visas on arrival’ countries. As it has not yet been confirmed which nationalities will be able to apply for the E-visa, travellers are required to check visa requirements for Ghana closer to the launch date to discover if they are eligible to submit an application.

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