Slow Visa Process, Restrictions Halting Trade in EAC

Slow Visa Process, Restrictions Halting Trade in EAC

From Business Daily Africa

Kenya faces an uphill task in its renewed campaign to grow trade with other African countries as stringent visa requirements restrict movement of traders.

While the region is already Kenya’s single largest export destination, accounting for 48.4 per cent of Sh517.9 billion goods exported last year, experts say the high fees and lengthy manual process for visas have hampered trade and hindered job-creation on the continent.

“Africa is one of the regions in the world with the highest visa requirements,” Prof Mthuli Ncube, chief economist and vice-president of the African Development Bank, told a panel organised jointly by the bank and World Economic Forum in Morocco last week.

“Visa restrictions imply missed economic opportunities for intra-regional trade and for the local service economy such as tourism, cross-country medical services or education,” he added.

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