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Thursday, 11 July 2019

Jamaica is Third Caribbean Country To sign Visa Waiver Agreement With Ghana


Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo Addo, has, for the third time in a month, won the hearts of leaders in the Caribbean pushing for them to sign a no-visa agreement between their countries and Ghana.
Jamaica is the most recent country to sign this visa waiver with the West African country synonymous for its gold-mining and cocoa producing acumen.
Only last week, Face2Face Africa reported how Ghana had won another visa waiver with Barbados, following immediately after a similar agreement reached between the country and Guyana.

South Africa will now stop requiring a visa from Ghanaians who want to visit the country.
This is because the South African Government has officially added Ghana to the list of its visa-free countries.
This comes just weeks after Jamaica also announced it is scrapping visa requirements on Ghanaians wishing to visit the country.
The South Africa visa waiver announcement was captured on its Home Affairs Twitter handle.
Today, we wish to announce an addition to our visa – free countries.
These are:
•Qatar
•United Arab Emirates
•New Zealand
•Saudi Arabia
•Cuba
•Ghana
•Sao Tome and Principe@travel24 @tourism_gov_za
3,342 people are talking about this
Other countries that were added to the list of visa-free countries include Qatar,  United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and Sao Tome and Principe.
A separate statement from the Home Affairs Minister, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi said: “Out of the 193 countries who are member states of the United Nations, the Department has granted visa-free status to 75 countries.”
He said, out of the number “16 are in our [African] continent and are SADC members and 59 are from all over the world.”
He went on further to announce seven countries that have been added to the visa-free list which included Ghana.
“We will immediately enter into discussions with them about how a visa-free regime will work. We still have some homework to do for 3 countries whose combined populations make up close to 30% of the world’s population i.e. China, India and Nigeria,” the statement added.
Below is the full speech read by the Home Affairs Minister with regards to the visa-free waiver:
While Home Affairs Department core mandate is issuing identification, we also contribute significantly to economic growth.
We do this by making life easier for our sister Departments such as Tourism to boost their tourism figures.  Tourism will soar if we relax visa requirements for entry into South Africa.  We know that Tourism is very important for job creation.
Out of the 193 countries who are member states of the United Nations, the Department has granted visa-free status to 75 countries.  Of these 16 are in our continent and are SADC members and 59 are from all over the world.
Today, we wish to announce an addition to our visa-free countries
These are:
Qatar
United Arab Emirates
New Zealand
Saudi Arabia
Cuba
Ghana
Sao Tome and Principe
We will immediately enter into discussions with them about how a  visa-free regime will work.  We still have some homework to do for 3 countries whose combined populations make up close to 30% of the world’s population i.e. China, India and Nigeria.
While we are busy tackling the matter of the three countries.  For now, we shall this financial year, increase 2½ times the number of people who work for Home Affairs to process visas in both China and India.  We shall increase 2 times the number of people who process visas to our country in Nigeria.
With this year being marked as the Year of Return in Ghana marking 400 years since slaves set foot in America, and the Year of Festivals declared by the Caribbean Tourism Organization, several avenues are being explored and created to unite the black community through history, culture and like-mindedness.
Following the visa waiver agreements with Cameroon, Ethiopia, Liberia, Morocco, Senegal, Rwanda, Burkina Faso and Ghana by the Barbadian government, Guyana is also strengthening ties with African countries starting with Ghana.
President Nana Akufo Addo, and his Jamaican compatriot, Prime Minister Andrews Holness, announced the agreement following bilateral discussions the two had in Kingston, Jamaica, on Saturday, June 15, 2019. This was part of president Akufo Addo’s two-day official visit to Jamaica.
Stressing the importance of Ghana-Jamaica relations, the president indicated that the two nations have an excellent opportunity to build on their strong ties imposed by culture and history, so as to derive maximum economic value for their respective countries.  
President Akufo Addo’s visit forms part of a Caribbean tour to promote the “Year of Return, Ghana 2019,” which is a major landmark marketing campaign targeting the African–American and Diaspora market to mark 400 years of the first enslaved African arriving in Jamestown, Virginia.
He described the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade as a “horrendous episode of human history,” while explaining that Ghana is keen on commemorating this event largely because a large number of slaves came through slave forts located in Ghana.  
He noted that his visit to Jamaica “completes a very worthwhile week that I have had here discussing with the various Caribbean leaders how we can strengthen the relations across the waters” and finding ways to “(strengthen) each other…and growing and empowering our economies to play a more critical role in the new global architecture”.

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