The president of Rwanda Paul Kagame eliminated entry visas for all citizens of African countries. “Let there be no mistake about it. Any African can get on a plane to Rwanda whenever they want and will pay nothing to enter our country,” the president said, explaining that the move aims to capitalize on revenue from the African tourist market, driven by a growing middle class.
After Seychelles, Gambia and Benin, Rwanda thus becomes the fourth country in Africa to implement visa exemption, beating Kenya, whose president William Ruto has repeatedly declared that he wants to proceed in the same direction. Kigali has long campaigned to boost its tourism sector, including working with football clubs such as Arsenal and Bayern Munich to promote Rwanda as a tourist destination.
Other countries on the continent have entered into bilateral agreements for visa exemption: among these Ghana and South Africa, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.