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Even Africa’s Wealthiest Man has Trouble Traveling in His Own Continent

Despite doing business in multiple countries, Nigerian-born Aliko Dangote complains he faces far more hurdles crossing Africa than visitors with European passports ever do. “As an investor, as someone who wants to make Africa great, I have to apply for 35 different visas on my passport,” Dangote told the recent Africa CEO Forum in Kigali. The 67-year-old entrepreneur’s visa woes have reignited a fresh firestorm about the frustrations of traveling within Africa for Africans. The African Union has said one of its goals is to remove “restrictions on Africans’ ability to travel, work and live within their own continent by transforming restrictive laws and promoting visa-free travel” but implementation has been slow. Free movement within the continent is a critical part of the African Continental Free Trade Area, but action hasn’t followed the commitments.