It’s about time Africans have the free will to move around other countries on the continent without Visas, a promise The African Union has been trying to keep. Under an AU plan, African nations were supposed to scrap visa requirements for all African citizens by 2018 but this seems to be delayed.
Ethiopia is one of the countries is taking a step towards helping that become a reality. Speaking at the opening of parliament and outlining the government’s legislative programme, President Mulatu Teshome said that African nationals would be able to get visas on arrival in the country rather than applying for them in advance, BBC Reports.
But to date, the Seychelles is the only nation where visa-free travel is open to all Africans – as well as to citizens of every nation – as it always has been. A recent AU report found that Africans can travel without a visa to just 22% of other African countries.
A few facts on Ethiopia.
- Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa, with a population of over 106 million, growing by 10% a year. It is second to Nigeria’s population of over 193 million.
- Ethiopia is Africa’s oldest independent country.
- Rastafarianism, developed in Jamaica in the 1930s, uses former Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie as its spiritual leader. Although Selassie (known as Jah to Rastas) died in 1975, his death is not accepted and many believe he will one day return.
- Ethiopia is the only country in Africa that was never formally colonized, although Italy twice occupied it: from 1895-96 and 1935-1941.
- The Ethiopian Calendar has 13 months and is over seven years behind the Gregorian calendar. As such, Ethiopia celebrated the new millennium on 11th September 2007. This is because the Ethiopians did not change their calendar when the Roman church amended its ancient calendar in 525AD.
- By 2017, Ethiopia had the fastest-growing economy in the world. Its GDP grew by 8.3% in 2017 compared with a global rate of 2.7%.