Ghana will start the issuance of electronic visas (E-visa) next year. Procurement processes have started for the selection of a firm to partner the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to design and issue E-visas to facilitate the acquisition of the travel documents to the country from any part of the world.
The visa policy reform is part of the $40-million World Bank-funded Ghana Tourism Development Project (GTDP) to enhance Ghana’s tourism and hospitality sector and make the country a more attractive destination.
The acting Project Coordinator for the GTDP, Mr Divine Kwame Owusu-Ansah, told the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra that the measure would facilitate the ease and convenience of acquiring visas to the country.
He said visa acquisition to the country had been challenging for visitors, as they had to travel long distances to apply for it, while using the postal system had not been helpful.
“We are working with the GIS to set up the E-visa system for the country. We hope to recruit the firm to design, supply, install and build capacity and deploy electronic visa solutions for the Immigration Service by the middle of next year,” he explained.
The private partner would work between January and May next year to get the system in place, with services available at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) and any location around the world where a visitor would like to acquire a visa to travel to Ghana, he explained.
The E-visa has been a game-changer for countries that have it. They include the United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China, India, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Serbia and Sri Lanka.
Mr Owusu-Ansah said it was a major priority activity for the sector, under the leadership of the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, who is also the Member of Parliament for Prestea-Huni Valley.