Visa Process Bottlenecks: Dangote Laments Restrictions, Says It’s Waste Of Time For African Investors

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Africa’s richest billionaire, and Chairman, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has decried difficulties faced by investors over travels on the African continent as he said he needs different 35 visas on his Nigerian passport.

Dangote lamented the state of affair, a situation he said is more or less a restriction to business movement that doesn’t exist in such countries like France where business tycoons have freer access.

Dangote disclosed this recently at the Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

“I still complained to President Kagame. I told him that as an investor, I have to now apply for 35 different visas on my passport, and I told Mr. President, I really don’t have the time to go and be dropping my passports in embassies to get a visa,” he said.

He continued, “But you see, the most annoying thing is that yes, if you are treating everybody the same, then I can understand.”

Using the French passport as an example, Dangote said Patrick Pouyanne, chairman of Total Energies, does not need 35 visas on his French passport to gain access to African countries.

“You don’t need 35 visas on your French passport. This means you have a freer movement than myself in Africa,” he said.

Speaking further on businesses within Africa, he said right now, “Our main job is to make sure the regional markets all work. Once they work, then we can now go to Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). But then, for AfCFTA also, we need to make sure that it works.

“We cannot have a very promising continent and our intra-trade rate is less than 16 percent. Okay, so we Africans will have to do it. If we are waiting for foreigners to come and do it, both the development of Africa, it’s not going to happen.

“So it can only happen to us Africans. We must risk our sources and make sure that we lead, then we will have people who actually trust and believe in Africa like Patrick to come and help us to push to the next level.”

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