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Dangote Bemoans Need For 35 African Visas

Nigeria's Business Community Unnerved After Aliko Dangote Office Raid -  Bloomberg

AFRICA’S wealthiest entrepreneur, Aliko Dangote, has raised alarm over the challenges encountered by investors traveling within the continent, revealing that he requires 35 visas on his Nigerian passport.

Speaking at the Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, Dangote highlighted the disparity between visa requirements in Africa compared to other regions, citing an example of the ease of travel experienced by French passport holders.


‘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,’ Dangote stated.

He expressed frustration over the unequal treatment, noting, ‘But you see, the most annoying thing is that yes, if you are treating everybody the same, then I can understand.’

Drawing a comparison with French passport holders, Dangote emphasised the advantages of having a passport from a country with broader access to African nations. ‘You don’t need 35 visas on your French passport. This means you have freer movement than myself in Africa,’ he lamented.

Addressing the importance of intra-African trade, Dangote stressed the need for regional markets to function effectively before fully leveraging the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

‘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,’ he asserted.

Dangote underscored the pivotal role Africans must play in driving the continent’s development and enhancing intra-African trade. ‘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,’ he emphasised.

He called for proactive measures by African leaders to foster trust and belief in the continent, urging Africans to lead the charge towards economic advancement. ‘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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