The Rwandan government has approved a waiver of visa fees for AU states citizens, Commonwealth nations and Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).
The new policy, revealed from minutes of a cabinet meeting on Saturday, means that Africans, citizens from the Commonwealth nations and francophone countries would be able to enter Rwanda without having to pay visa fees.
Earlier this year, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, while attending a United Kingdom-Africa Summit, announced that his country was considering this visa waiver.
The Head of State said that the operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which takes effect in July this year is proof to investors that there is will in Africa to deepen regional integration.
“African Continental Free Trade Area demonstrates to investors that there is solid political will in Africa for a deeper regional integration agenda. We have good reason to take advantage of these developments and work more closely together,” he said.
Rwanda will in June host the 26th meeting of the heads of government of the Commonwealth of Nations, also known as CHOGM 2020.
The country has been ranked as one of the most open countries on the continent due to its non-strict visa fees for AU states.
“The undeniable progress we have seen in Rwanda is the result of applying these principles to the challenges we faced. The most important part was for citizens themselves to be part of the process ensuring that they benefit from public policy,” he said.
It allows citizens of all countries that are not visa-exempt to obtain their visas on arrival. Visa applications can also be done online, just before departure to the East African country.
In 2018, the country initiated a global visa-free entry for all travellers. A communique released by the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration said all travellers could enjoy 30 days visa on arrival under the regime.