Nigerian billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote has urged African leaders to take deliberate steps towards facilitating the smooth entry and exit of Africans.
Dangote, who spoke at the 30th Afreximbank Annual Meetings in Accra, Ghana, on Sunday, encouraged the nations to implement visa-on-arrival policies to enhance trade and investment opportunities within Africa.
“I think what, maybe, African countries need to do is that, why don’t you give Africans visas on arrival that will facilitate trade?” he suggested, sharing a scenario where one has to get a visa to get into “country A” as an African.
He highlighted the scenario where Africans are required to obtain visas to enter certain countries, contrasting it with the favorable treatment given to individuals holding British passports, including Nigerians with British citizenship.
Recounting a personal experience, the industrialist decried a situation where “we go with a British guy or maybe a Nigerian holding a British passport (and) he is allowed in”.
The industrialist emphasized that if obstacles persist in conducting business and investing within Africa, it discourages potential investors from engaging in the continent’s economic development.
He added, “We were arguing, debating about my visa and I am the one with the money. If you are making life difficult for me, there is no way I will go and invest.”
Dangote’s explained that by adopting visa-on-arrival policies, African countries can enhance their attractiveness to investors and facilitate the smooth flow of trade, ultimately fostering economic growth and development across the continent.