A new electronic visa system for Ghana is due to be launched next year in order to facilitate the visa application process, the Vice President of the West African nation has revealed.
The announcement was made by during the first Regional Congress on Women Empowerment in the Tourism sector in Ghana.
Bawumia said that the new Ghana eVisa will make it easier for tourists to visit the country and eliminate the need to apply for a visa from an embassy or consulate. Applicants for the eVisa will simply need to complete a simple online form with basic information to receive an approved visa, making the process much smoother and efficient.
Bawumia added that the new scheme is intended to draw both more tourists and business travelers to Ghana, in line with the government’s mandate to make the country more ‘business-friendly’ though the implementation of new technology.
“Ghana is going completely digital”, Bawumia said, adding that the country is launching mobile payment interoperability and a universal QR code to further enable cashless payments. The hope is that the lack of a need to exchange money for Ghana will encourage more tourist arrivals and tourist spending in the country.
Ghana Relaxes Visa Requirements to Boost Tourist Arrivals
The upcoming introduction of the Ghana eVisa in 2022 is not the only measure the government has recently implemented to attract international visitors to the country.
Throughout 2019, Ghana has hosted a range of events both at home and abroad to celebrate The Year of Return. As 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first slave ship in America, Ghana has organized a full cultural program to encourage descendents of those who were forcibly sent away to return.
In order to encourage foreign citizens of African descent to attend the events, Ghana extended its visa on arrival program to any individual interested in participating. In addition, the government of Ghana has granted citizenship to 126 African-Americans and Afro-Caribbeans who traveled to the country for the celebration.
Ghana Visa on Arrival Increases Tourist Numbers
The Year of Return Secretariat is confident that the program of events and the relaxing of visa requirements for those who wish to attend has greatly increased interest in Ghana among Diaspora Africans around the world, especially in the UK and the US.
Visitors traveling to Ghana with the Visa on arrival for the Year of return are only expected to increase in December, and the program organizers are confident that it will draw 1.1 million tourist arrivals by the end of the year.
A Ghana visa on arrival is also currently available to all citizens of the African Union, except Morocco, who are not exempt for a visa for Ghana. A number of countries in Africa, including Ghana’s neighbors such as Nigeria and Burkina Faso, are visa-exempt for Ghana for stays up to 90 days.