‘I Need 35 Visas to Travel Within Africa’, Dangote Bemoans Challenges Investors Face

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African Billionaire, Aiko Dangote, has expressed frustration over the difficulties faced by investors traveling within the African continent.

Speaking at the Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, Dangote revealed that he needs 35 different visas on his Nigerian passport to travel across Africa.

“I complained to President Kagame about the challenges I face as an investor,” Dangote said. “I have to apply for 35 different visas on my passport, and I don’t have the time to go to embassies to get a visa.”

Dangote compared his experience to that of Patrick Pouyanne, chairman of Total Energies, who doesn’t need 35 visas on his French passport to access African countries. “You don’t need 35 visas on your French passport. This means you have freer movement than myself in Africa,” he noted.

Dangote emphasized the importance of regional markets working together, stating that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is an important step forward. “Our main job is to make sure the regional markets all work. Once they work, then we can go to AfCFTA. But for AfCFTA to work, we need to make sure that it works.”

He stressed that Africans must take the lead in developing the continent, as foreign investment alone will not suffice. “We Africans must risk our resources and make sure that we lead. Then we will have people who trust and believe in Africa, like Patrick, to come and help us push to the next level.”

Dangote’s comments reveals a need for improved intra-African trade and travel, with the continent’s intra-trade rate currently standing at less than 16 percent.

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