While the other Neighboring African countries are undergoing frustrations, Rwanda is moving from glory to glory. All you hear and read about Uganda is the Presidential Age limit debate as well as the Medical workers’ strike with several innocent Lives suffering. Just like the saying “when two elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers hence the citizens are the ones to pay the price. When you move to Kenya, the streets of Nairobi are characterized by post election violence and demonstrations after the annulment of the August 2017 general election and repeat of the elections hence leading to chaos as well as loss of several lives.

With all this tension going on within the region, Rwanda, the land of a thousand Hills is doing wonders with the current one being the announcement that tourists from across the World are eligible to acquire a 30-days visa on arrival without earlier application from 1st January 2018. No wonder, this small country has always been applauded for having one of the most liberal border policies for African travelers who have always acquired Visas on Arrival.

Before this wonderful initiative, it was only the Citizens of African countries that would get their Visas on arrival into the land of a thousand Hills but this will change with effect from January 2018. Not only that, this country has mitigated the movement of the COMESA members hence will now get up to 90-days Visa upon arrival and payment of the required visa fees.

Additionally, Rwandans living in the Diaspora and possessing dual Citizenship (or dual nationality) will be allowed to utilize their National Identity Cards on entry and would not be required to pay any extra Visa fees. Isn’t this the best news any Citizen of a country would love to hear?

Besides that, the Foreign Residents within Rwanda can be able to use their resident Identity Cards at Kigali International Airport, which means they can now join the Citizens in using the Automated Passenger Clearance System, known to be one of the best in the African Continent.

What does this move mean for Rwanda’s tourism industry? It will increase on the number of tourists into the country hence more revenue for her. However, other East African member States have to watch such wonderful innovations with keen interest so as to ease tourist visitation to the countries and also have a competitive advantage. When you look at the tourist attractions, most countries offer the same resources but it’s always important to be innovative and do things differently. Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya all depend on natural resources in form of National Parks, wildlife/game reserves, water resources (Lakes, Rivers and waterfalls), and wildlife in addition to the bird species. With tourists being eligible to a 30-day visa upon arrival into Rwanda without necessarily submitting prior application means that any tourist will definitely choose this country, after all the same attractions and even more are offered.

Kenya on the other hand has an advantage of good infrastructures and attractive pricing, in addition to having a National Carrier (known as Kenya Airways) just like Rwanda (Rwandair) and Tanzania (Air Tanzania) hence direct flights are always organized to these countries. Uganda on the other side is on the disadvantageous side because she doesn’t have a National Airline hence tourists cannot enjoy direct flights to and from the US or Europe, and even within the East African region. The fact that Rwanda is a land-locked country and waived the long process of visa application makes this the best decision for the country hence will improve on accessibility to the destination.

In conclusion, Rwanda’s new Visa regime is one of the best moves and commendable decisions that allow tourists to acquire a 30-days visa on arrival without earlier application from the effect of 1st January 2018. This means increase in tourists, which reciprocates with increase in tourism revenues to the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *