Nigeria has ranked sixth in the Africa Visa Openness Index (AVOI) while Benin, Seychelles and The Gambia ranked first, second and third, respectively.
The AVOI report, the seventh edition, was released by the African Union (AU) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) at the 2022 African Economic Conference (AEC) held in Balaclava, Mauritius, on Sunday.
AVOI measures the extent to which African countries are open to visitors from other countries by analyzing each country’s visa requirements.
For each country, the index calculates the number of African countries whose citizens must obtain a visa before traveling there.
It also calculates the number of countries whose citizens may obtain a visa on arrival and the number of countries whose citizens do not need a visa to enter. Each country is then assigned a visa openness score and ranked accordingly.
The report noted that while 48 countries out of 54 now offer visa-free travel to the nationals of at least one other African country, 42 countries offer visa-free travel to nationals of at least five other African countries, and three offer visa-free travel to the citizens of other countries.
Furthermore, while 29 countries now offer a visa-on-arrival to the nationals of at least one other African country, 24 countries offer a visa-on-arrival to nationals of five or more countries, and 14 countries provide a visa-on-arrival to 35 or more African countries. However, 32 countries still require nationals of at least half of the continent’s countries to obtain a visa before traveling.
The report further noted that the number of countries in Africa that offer an e-visa increased from 21 in 2019 to 24 in 2020 to 2022. In addition, the number of African countries that now offer travelers the option of an e-visa increased to 24 from nine countries in 2016.
The data for the 2022 edition was collected in July and August, mainly from the International Air Transport Association and countries’ official websites.
First published in 2016, the AVOI Also tracks changes in countries’ scores over time. This shows how countries’ policies are evolving as regards the freedom of movement across Africa.