Guinea-Bissau, Cabo Verde and Mozambique are among the African countries that are most open, with regard to visas, to the citizens of other African states, according to the African Union (AU) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
In the recent African Index of Openness, promoted by the AU and AfDB, Guinea-Bissau is the 5th most open country, offering exemption of visas to citizens of 14 African countries and border visas to another 39.
The country showed a slight improvement in the index, and the Guinean border visa is allowed for all Portuguese-speaking African countries, among which only the citizens of Cabo Verde are exempt from the visa requirement.
Cabo Verde saw a slight decrease and appears in 8th place in the overall index, offering visa exemption to citizens of Angola, Guinea-Bissau and 14 other countries. The remaining Portuguese-speaking African countries may request a visa at the border.
Mozambique is slightly below in 10th place, and the only Portuguese-speaking African country to benefit from visa exemption is Angola. Border visas are available to citizens of 44 countries.
Angola is among the countries that most demands visas before departure, from a total of 36 countries, including Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea. Citizens of São Tomé and Príncipe can ask for a visa at the border, while Mozambicans and Cape Verdeans are among the citizens of 10 African countries exempted from visas.
São Tomé and Príncipe appears further below, in 43rd place, requiring visas before departure from 45 countries. The Portuguese-speaking and all members of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP) are visa exempt, along with those of Rwanda, Morrocco and Gabon.
The passports of Portuguese-speaking countries that offer access to most countries without a visa are Cabo Verde (20 countries), Guinea-Bissau (17) and Angola (14). Only three countries do not require a visa for citizens of São Tomé and 28 require it before departure.
The report added that in the last three years there had been progress in freedom of movement among African countries, with travellers able to secure visas on arrival in more African countries and travel without a visa to a quarter of the continent.
“African countries are becoming increasingly open to visitors from across the continent, as most countries and regions are making constant progress in every visa openness indicator,” the report said.
For the first time, it added, African countries have liberalised access to 51% of the continent and require travel visas to at least half of the other African countries. Benin and Seychelles were the countries with the best score on the index, by providing access without visas to all African countries.
“In future, promotion of greater visa openness across Africa will help capitalise on the gains made with the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area, the Single African Air Transport Market and the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons,” said the report.