Seychelles and Benin are the two African countries which offer visa-free access to all Africans. This is according to the Africa Visa Openness Report 2019.
The report also reveals that Africans need visas in 49% of other African countries while ten African countries offer liberal access (visa-free or visa on arrival) to all Africans.
Sixty-four percent of African countries have improved their visa openness scores. In Southern Africa, Madagascar, Mauritius and Mozambique make part of the top 20 visa open countries.
South Africa is one of the countries near the bottom of the list, ranking at number 36 out of a total of 54 countries.
However, all is not doom and gloom. The Home Affairs Department has announced that foreign minors travelling to South Africa are no longer required to produce unabridged birth certificates or consent letters when traveling with their parents.
Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsolaedi signed the waiver on Friday which comes into effect immediately.
South African children are, however, still required to provide supporting documents, in line with the requirements of the Children’s Act. The same applies to unaccompanied foreign children.
After five years of attempting to convince government to abolish the controversial regulations, the tourism industry has finally won. The Department of Home Affairs argued that the strict laws were to prevent child trafficking. It now says it hopes this change will have a positive impact on tourism as the holiday season approaches.
The Tourism Business Council of South Africa has welcomed the signing of the waiver. It says the tourism industry has suffered a huge blow as a result of these stringent requirements.