All Africans will now be allowed to enter Rwanda without visas.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame made the announcement on Thursday in Kigali, the country’s capital, while promoting Rwanda as a tourist destination at the 23rd global summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
“Let there be no mistake about it. Any African can get on a plane to Rwanda whenever they wish and will not pay a thing to enter our country,” Kagame said.
“We should not lose sight of our own continental market. Africans are the future of global tourism as our middle class continues to grow at a fast pace in the decades to come.
We must work closely together with partners, like the WTTC, to continue developing Africa into a premium destination for global travel.”
Kagame said Rwanda identified tourism as a key driver of economic growth and built on the sector as a healing balm from the genocide of nearly 30 years ago.
“Every year, we welcome so many visitors who come to Rwanda to enjoy the unique natural beauty, attend sporting events, or participate in gatherings like this. This is a privilege and a trust that we don’t take for granted,” he added.
The president said he was confident in Africa’s potential as a “unified tourism destination” and invited tourists from within and outside the continent to visit.
Kagame’s announcement makes Rwanda the fourth African country to allow citizens of the continent visa-free travel to the country.
The other countries include Seychelles, The Gambia, and Benin Republic.
The move is also part of the continent’s effort to boost the free movement of people and trade within Africa, in a bid to rival Europe’s Schengen zone.
Last weekend, Kenyan President William Ruto announced the removal of visa restrictions for Africans traveling to the country by the end of the