E/African coun­tries in­tro­duce sin­gle tourism visa

Daily Trust - - AFRICA - By Romoke W. Ah­mad

Three coun­tries from the East­ern part of Africa have in­tro­duced a sin­gle tourism visa for vis­i­tors go­ing to the re­gion for tourism pur­pose.

The coun­tries that adopted the sin­gle tourism visa are the Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya.

The visa ac­cord­ing to the en­voys of these coun­tries in Nigeria will al­low tourists to go to any of the coun­tries with only one visa from any of the em­bassies in Nigeria or else­where in the world.

Speak­ing dur­ing a press brief­ing in Abuja yes­ter­day, Uganda High Com­mis­sioner to Nigeria, Mr. Joseph Habineza, said the visa will give tourists mul­ti­ple en­try ac­cess to the three coun­tries which will af­ford them op­por­tu­nity to mar­ket the re­gion.

“The sin­gle tourism visa will al­low the gov­ern­ments of Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya to mar­ket the re­gion as a sin­gle tourist des­ti­na­tion. It is also ex­pected to re­duce the costs of tour­ing across the three coun­tries in a bid to boost the num­ber of tourists,” he said

He added that the holder of the East African tourist visa shall en­ter from the coun­try that is­sued the visa and move within the two other coun­tries with­out ap­ply­ing for an­other visa or pay­ing for an­other one.

The visa ac­cord­ing to the en­voys will be is­sued on the re­quest of the tourist at any im­mi­gra­tion of­fice or high com­mis­sion of the three coun­tries for one hun­dred US dol­lar or its equiv­a­lent of for­eign cur­rency.

Kenyan High Com­mis­sioner to Nigeria, Mr. Tom Amolo, added that the in­te­gra­tion process in the re­gion has reached a level where cit­i­zens from the re­gion no longer use pass­port to en­ter coun­tries in the re­gion.

“Our cit­i­zens now use their coun­try’s iden­tity card to en­ter any of our coun­try in the re­gion and I want the hard work­ing Nige­ri­ans to take ad­van­tage of this for their re­lax­ation,” he said.

Amolo also dis­closed that Kenyan Air­ways will be­gin di­rect flight from Nairobi to Abuja and Abuja to Nairobi in June this year to fur­ther ease move­ment be­tween the two coun­tries and fur­ther strengthen the bi­lat­eral re­la­tions.

Speak­ing on why other coun­tries from the re­gion are not part of the agree­ment, the Ugan­dan High Com­mis­sioner to Nigeria, Mr. Kag­imu K. Mau­rice, said some coun­tries can go ahead when they have good ini­tia­tive while oth­ers may join later af­ter con­sid­er­ing its ad­van­tage on them adding that they are ex­pect­ing other coun­tries from the re­gion to join the agree­ment soon.

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