The Government of Ghana has announced that it has begun the selection process for a partner firm with which to launch the E-visa for Ghana in 2021.
The reform of the Ghana visa policy is being implemented as part of the $40-million Ghana Tourism Development Project (GTDP), funded by the World Bank, which aims to significantly boost the Ghanian tourism and hospitality sectors.
The acting Project Coordinator for the GTDP, Divine Kwame Owusu-Ansah, said that the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) is spearheading the launch of the electronic visa program to facilitate the ease of submitting visa applications for travelers to the African nation from all over the world.
Owusu-Ansah acknowledged that the E-visa would significantly improve the current process of applying for a Ghanian visa for international travelers, as it would eliminate the need for foreign citizens to travel long distances to submit an application at an Ghana embassy or consulate in person.
He explained that the GIS and GTDP are now working together to recruit a firm to handle the design, installation, and deployment of the Ghana visa online system between January and May of next year, with the aim of launching the E-visa in mid-2021.
The full electronic Ghana visa requirements, the cost of the Ghana visa online, and whether the E-visa will be a multiple entry visa have yet to be confirmed. However, Owusu-Ansah has said travelers with an approved Ghanaian E-visa will be able to enter the country at Kotoka International Airport.
Ghana E-visa to Boost the Tourism Sector
The reform of the visa policy of Ghana to include an electronic system is just one of the initiatives being spearheaded by the GTDP to strengthen the tourist sector in the country.
Other measures include the development of tourist sites and destinations in Ghana and the provision of extra financial support for tourism enterprises, as well as facilitating the increase of the number of skilled workers in the industry.
This latter initiative is being supported by the newly-created Hospitality and Tourism Training Policy, and GTDP is currently recruiting a firm to begin setting up skills training institutions which will allow workers in the hospitality sector to deliver world-class service to tourists.
Workers to benefit from the training initiative will include hotel front desk managers, waiters and waitresses, and cooks and chefs. The GTDP is also working with the Ministry of Aviation to implement a similar training program for workers in the aviation industry.
Other Benefits of the Electronic Ghana Visa System
The introduction of an electronic visa is set to facilitate tourist travel to Ghana in the same way that similar E-visa systems have already greatly benefitted the tourism economy of other African countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa.
In addition to removing the need for many foreign citizens to obtain a visa from a Ghanian embassy or consulate, the E-visa program will also eliminate long waiting times at the border for those who currently need to obtain a Ghana visa on arrival.
There are only a few Ghana visa-free countries: all other nationalities currently either need to get an Ghanian embassy visa in advance of travel, or come from one of the Ghana visa on arrival countries.
As it has not yet been confirmed which nationalities will be able to apply for the E-visa, travelers are required to check visa requirements for Ghana closer to the launch date to discover if they are eligible to submit an application.