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Africa is Making Strides in its Visa Openness Policies Boding Well for Cross Border Travel

The Africa Visa Openness Index 2023, published on Tuesday, reveals much progress since the seventh edition of the report was published in December 2022. The AVOI measures the extent to which African countries are open to visitors from other African countries.  Over the period 2020-21, massive border closures to curb the spread of COVID-19, affected land and air travel, with additional restrictions due to screening measures, bans on gatherings, quarantines and such, causing stagnation in 2022. In 2023, data from the report shows that 50 countries improved or maintained their 2022 score, with only 4 countries scoring lower. Since the first report was published in 2016, 36 countries have improved their score on the index. Forty-two (42) countries extend visa-free entry to citizens from at least 5 other African countries, while 33 countries do so to citizens of at least 10 countries. Four countries – up from three last year, – have eliminated all visa requirements for African travelers. They are Rwanda, Benin, The Gambia, and Seychelles.