Uganda has been named the second top most performing country on visa openness in Africa, according to a new report launched by the African Development Bank and the African Union Commission today.
The Africa Visa Openness Index measures how open African countries are by looking at what they ask of citizens from other African countries when they travel and before granting them entry.
It aims to show at a glance which countries are facilitating travel for citizens of other countries and how: whether they allow people to travel to their country without a visa; if travelers can get a visa on arrival in the country; or whether visitors need to obtain a visa before travel.
Nationals of 18 countries require no visas to enter Uganda while citizens from 36 countries, are issued visas at the point of entry. Those that require no visa to enter Uganda include citizens of Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Seychelles is the only country ahead of Uganda requiring no visas at all for citizens across the 54 African countries.
Djibouti, Madagascar, Comoros and Somalia offer visas upon arrival while Western Sahara, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Angola, Eritrea, Sudan, Gabon and Ethiopia lie at the bottom of the ranking for requiring visas from almost all people across the continent.
Ghana has made the most progress in 2016 in opening up its borders to African travellers, moving into sixth place in the index, up 16 places from 2015. Senegal also moved into the top 20 most visa-open countries, up nine places from 2015, and Tunisia moved up 13 places from 2015.
"Our leaders have to bring down the walls that separate us, from East Africa to Central Africa to North Africa to West Africa. We need a wider open market," Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Group, said in a statement.
The index shows that African countries are on average becoming more open to each other, with indications that travel within the continent is becoming easier and few Africans needing visas to travel to other countries.
To date, Africans don't need a visa to travel to 22 percent of other African countries up from 20 percent in 2015 while they can get visas on arrival in 24 percent of other African countries, according to the index.
Data on visa openness was collected between September 2016 and January 2017. The primary source of information was the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and various questionnaires sent to national focal points.