Africa’s economic pot of gold is on the continent

At the just concluded World Economic Forum for Africa that was held in Abuja, Nigeria, African leaders came up strongly in support of a visa-free Africa. The reason put forward to ease movement on the continent was that it would be a vehicle to promote economic integration. Many African countries are still stuck in the bureaucratic sink hole of making life very difficult for potential visitors; even their own. It is inconceivable that an African national has to go through a maze of strict conditions to enter the territory of a neighbouring country, yet a European passport holder is welcomed effusively despite having no direct benefits to gain.

At the just concluded World Economic Forum for Africa that was held in Abuja, Nigeria, African leaders came up strongly in support of a visa-free Africa.

The reason put forward to ease movement on the continent was that it would be a vehicle to promote economic integration.

Many African countries are still stuck in the bureaucratic sink hole of making life very difficult for potential visitors; even their own.

It is inconceivable that an African national has to go through a maze of strict conditions to enter the territory of a neighbouring country, yet a European passport holder is welcomed effusively despite having no direct benefits to gain.

When Rwanda decided to lead the way and open its doors to all African passport holders, it was because it understood the benefits of intercontinental as well as regional integration in bridging the skills gap.

The streets of Kigali today are bubbling with a myriad of foreign languages, most of them from neighbouring states. The speakers bring with them various skills which they exchange with their Rwandan counterparts.

A popular Kinyarwanda proverb that loosely translated says; “A cow grazes from the nearest patch of grass” explains the futility of travelling thousands of miles yet what one wants is just next door.

One does not have to go to the end of the rainbow to seek a pot of gold; it is right here, close by. One needs only to stretch out an arm and grab it.

 

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