Europe Visa

Breaking Barriers: Europe Should Make Visa Easier for African Travellers.

Europe, with its rich history, cultural diversity, and vibrant cities, has long been a coveted destination for travellers worldwide. However, for many Africans, the dream of exploring the continent’s wonders turns into a daunting nightmare when confronted with the visa application process.

A recent study by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) sheds light on the challenges faced by Ghanaian, Nigerian, and South African travellers seeking entry to Europe. As the data reveals the barriers these travellers encounter, it becomes evident that Europe must take decisive action to make the visa application process more accessible and transparent for African applicants.


Report: Moove & CFAO’s Suzuki Cars Receives Zero-Safety Rating.

The Suzuki brand of vehicles from CFAO Motors and Vehicle Financing startup, Moove received zero safety ratings and are declared dangerous for our roads.

For its mobility entrepreneurs in Ghana and Nigeria, Moove, an African mobility fintech firm, partnered with CFAO Motors, the continent’s most prominent automotive distribution network with a presence in 36 countries, in February 2022 and bought over 5,000 brand-new, fuel-efficient Suzuki cars.

Following acquiring these car fleets from CFAO, Moove agreed with Uber in sub-Saharan Africa and has experienced more than 50% month over month since beginning in Ghana and Nigeria.

With this move, they hope to strengthen their drive to supply new, fuel-efficient automobiles across Africa on a large scale by making a variety of Suzuki cars available in Ghana and Nigeria, including the Alto, Swift, Celerio, Baleno, Dzire, and S-Presso models.

Suzuki Models Ghana
Suzuki brands on the Ghanaian market by CFAO and funded by Moove for ride-hailing.

Types of Ride-hailing Services in Ghana.

The development of ride-hailing applications in Ghana has completely changed how we get around various locations. People may rely on these apps to provide the fundamental requirements of a hired ride: reasonable prices, comfort, and timeliness. Ghanaians don’t have to depend on rickety, worn-out, outdated taxis and trotros for transportation.

According to studies conducted by independent automobile researchers, “the introduction of ride-hailing services—Yango being the newest to hit the market in 2019—has substantially aided in making the available riding services more affordable, particularly in terms of rates. The price considered affordable for the latest actors’ service offers is one aspect that, in the eyes of those polled, clearly stands out. In reality, 71.4% of the 156 respondents to the study think that middle-class people can afford those services.

The research also added that “22.2% of the panel, even those with low incomes, can afford ride-hailing services. A middle-class individual can afford these services, according to the over-45 age group, which supports this trend 100%.”

You might find it fascinating to learn that there are more than ten ride-hailing businesses in Ghana. Since the launch of Uber in June 2016, four of the industry’s leading players have been splitting this highly profitable ride-hailing sector. Due to its first-to-market advantage, Uber became extremely popular among Ghanaians compared to its competitors. Bolt, Yango, and Accra Cab all followed shortly after.

The ride-hailing services Dropyn, Enshika, Ghroupdrive, Uru, Rabarides, CarpoolGH, BlackRide, Coco Ride GH, and Swift-Wheels are some of those vying for this market share.

Suzuki Models Safety Ratings

Automobile manufacturers in the United States aim for four and five-star safety ratings when testing cars for passenger safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts numerous tests on automobiles to determine their safety in crashes.

According to a crash test performed by Global NCAP, the new Maruti Suzuki S-Presso automobile sold in Ghana by CFAO and financed for ride-hailing services by Moove has a low rate of passenger safety. In the popular video from Business Insider, the Suzuki models scored 0 for failing to safeguard passengers in a head-on accident.

The Suzuki S-Presso was driven 40 miles per hour through a metal barrier during the Global NCAP test. The test dummies inside suffered significant damage, as evidenced by the recorded results. The dummies’ exposed areas are shown in red, and there is obviously a lot of red. The lack of numerous essential safety elements in a vehicle like the S-Presso is what makes it so hazardous.

The voiceover video provided additional clarification; “what makes a car like the S-Presso so dangerous is the number of basic features it lacks. First, it provides only the driver with an airbag. In contrast, a 5-star vehicle, like the Tesla Model 3, features full-size airbags for both front seats, as well as side airbags for the rear seats. That is because they effectively prevent severe impact and stress on passengers during a crash.”

The influx of Suzuki’s Zero-rated Cars in Ghana.

Many Suzuki model automobiles are now being funded and used for ride-hailing services in Ghana and Nigeria due to the partnership between CFAO and Moove. Some social media users on Twitter have called for people not to buy these brands of Suzuki cars, and some have called for authorities to take these brands off the street.

This discussion about vehicle safety and NCAP ratings needs to be louder, so that negligent automaker like Maruti Suzuki is compelled to put safety before their fuel efficiency trap. It is quite disheartening that car companies like Suzuki and Moove are pushing these vehicles on our roads with zero-star safety ratings while still providing financing options for them.

It is about time the Government of Ghana and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) enforced the standards for vehicles being shipped into the country and using our roads.


Uber Surpassed one billion rides across Africa.

Uber has reached a significant milestone by clocking one billion rides across all of its African markets per reports.

Uber announced today that it has completed 1 billion rides across all of its African markets. According to the company’s press release, this feat equates to more than 10 billion kilometres travelled.

This achievement for Uber comes nearly a decade after the mobility tech company established itself on the continent in Johannesburg, South Africa. It has since expanded into seven additional African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ivory Coast.

According to Lorraine Onduru, the company’s spokesperson and head of comms for East and West Africa, in a statement. “Since entering the market in 2013, we have created over 6 million economic opportunities in over 50 cities across SSA that we are present in.

Uber has expanded to over 30 cities in its major markets in the last year, including 21 in South Africa — its most dominant market — four in Kenya and Nigeria, and two in Ghana.

Uber Eats, its food-delivery arm, has also been expanded across a few South African cities and Nairobi, Kenya, as part of the company’s growth strategy. Uber Eats debuted in South Africa in 2016 with only 1,000 restaurants. It now serves over 8,000 merchants in 36 cities across South Africa and Kenya.

Since entering the market in 2013, we have created over six million economic opportunities in over fifty SSA cities that we are present in,Uber’s Head of Communications for East and West Africa, Lorraine Onduru, said in a statement. We take delight in constructing locally while utilizing global skills. Because each country’s demands are distinct, we take the time to learn about them so that we can respond and adapt accordingly.

Here are other metrics the company reported in its growth report:

  • The most popular time users request Uber rides is 2 PM.
  • The most popular day users request Uber rides is on Friday.
  • The most popular drop-off destination is the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
  • The most popular ride option is UberX (from a list that includes Uber Go, Uber Moto, Uber Boda and Uber Poa).
  • The average trip time recorded on Uber is 24 minutes, and the longest recorded trip was over 492 km.

Over the years, Uber has disrupted local cab industries while creating over 50,000 driver jobs. But within this time, Uber has faced stiff competition from Bolt in its major markets, which has led to price wars that still affect drivers’ earnings today.

Due to new competition from Bolt, the business slashed fares in Kenya by nearly half in 2016. Despite the fact that it prompted Uber drivers to file a civil suit against the company and Uber BV, a former Uber executive in charge of launching new products in East Africa and negotiating partnerships with third-party companies said that Uber had intended to lower UberX commuter charges in Kenya even more.

The company scrapped the idea in January 2018 and instead launched Chap Chap, a lower-cost service; but, it wasn’t enough to stop the civil suit, which is still ongoing despite talks about Uber opting for arbitration.

Kindly send tips and suggestions to hello [at]

Ghana Post

Ghana Post Unveils New Fleet for Effective Service Delivery.

Ghana Post has, in a brief ceremony, unveiled a new fleet at the company’s headquarters in Accra to enhance its operations across the country.

In a brief ceremony, Ghana Post revealed a new fleet at its Accra headquarters to improve operations.

A new fleet of cars, trucks, and motorcycles was unveiled at the brief ceremony, which also marked Bice Osei Kuffour, the company’s MD, reaching 100 days in office. This was done to reinforce Ghana Post’s commitment to providing top-notch services to consumers.

In a welcoming address, Mr. Kuffour indicated that Ghana Post is on the path to leading the way in courier services locally and internationally.

We are committed to offering you the best of services. Your good old EMS service is still functional and even better resourced to deliver with speed and precision; speed Link offers you a well-organized pick and drops service irrespective of your location, our 24-hour parcel service is real, and patrons are excited about it; our E-commerce platform, Post shop offers you with the opportunity to buy your item of choice online which we deliver to you on request,” he said.

In a message read by Fredrick Akuffo Gyimah, Member, Ghana Post Board, on behalf of the board, he assured Ghana Post staff, customers, partners and stakeholders of their commitment to lead Ghana Post to harness a better world by improving living standards for humanity.

The commissioning of these new motorbikes, pickups and trucks is a clear indication of our commitment to serving our customers with excellence and to increase the company’s revenue stream,” he added.

The Minister for Public Service Enterprises, Joseph Cudjoe, applauded the MD, management and staff of Ghana Post for their efforts in increasing the company’s fleet for expanded operations and new market penetration.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications and Digitalisation reiterated that at the inaugural ceremony of the board on Thursday, February 17 this year, she charged them to transform Ghana Post into a profitable, self-sustaining company to satisfy employees and customers. Therefore, the presentation of the new fleet indicates that the new board is working tirelessly to strategically position the company to improve its service delivery in the country and beyond.

She, however, entreated the board, management, and staff to focus on maintenance culture, security and customer service. She charged Ghana Post to provide excellent customer service to distinguish the brand and gain a competitive advantage over other brands.

Ms. Owusu-Ekuful admonished that Ghanaians are looking forward to seeing a postal service driven by technology and innovation to deliver essential quality service to communities. “Continue to push innovations to the people’s doorsteps and, most importantly, serve customers with speed, loyalty, efficiency, and reliability.

Speaking to the media, Amb Edward Boateng, Director General, State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA), who graced the occasion, indicated that, the government shall continue to support Ghana Post to position itself as the leader in the industry and grow from a self-sustaining organization to a dividend-paying organization.

Ghanaians and postal patrons worldwide have witnessed a series of brand elevation activities by Ghana Post during the first 100 days of Bice Osei Kuffour-led administration. Key amongst these programs is rebranding to achieve top-of-mind awareness for Ghana Post through the Revitalization of the Pick & Drop Speedlink service, Vals on Wheels Promo during Valentine’s day, The Re-introduction of the scuttle home parcel box service and today’s fleet unveiling and presentation ceremony.

Mr. Kuffour attributed the success of his first 100 days of office to the hardworking staff of Ghana Post and urged them to continue to support his administration to lead Ghana Post to greater heights.

Credit: The BFT Online


SolarTaxi Launches Africa’s first Electric-Car-Only Ride-hailing App in Ghana

In Ghana, SolarTaxi has introduced Africa’s first electric-car-only ride-hailing service to provide clients with a climate-friendly choice for their convenience and value for money.

SolarTaxi, Ghana’s first e-mobility startup, has released Africa’s first dedicated electric car ride-hailing smartphone app to provide clients with a climate-friendly choice for their convenience and value for money.

The SolarTaxi app which goes live on April 1, 2022, on the Google Playstore and iOS App Store will operate only in East Legon and Airport within a 10kilometre radius.

Addressing the launch of the service on Thursday in Accra, the Growth Lead for Solar Taxi, Mr. Eugene Amponsah said the service will initially start out with 10 cars and would later be expanded to 100 electronic vehicles by the end of the year.

The Head of SolarTaxi Ride, Mr. Gilbert Sefa Nuwordu, commenting on the new initiative said that although there were many ride-hailing apps in the country, his outfit hopes to become a major disruptor in the space by offering environmentally-conscious clients and partners a cost-effective means of commuting in Ghana.

He said the service promises to benefit users during the traffic surges on the other ride-hailing app with cheaper cost of services and zero cost of fuel consumption to drivers. The company estimates that to save 2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year while saving the average Ghanaian commuted by 10,000 cedis each year on transportation costs.

Mr. Nuwordu said that, unlike other ride-hailing apps that introduce increased prices during peak times, SolarTaxi provides a standard charge every time of the day even during peak times.

This innovative initiative does not only seek to provide customers with the best of transport services but to contribute to climate change issues and appeal more to environmental enthusiasts. SolarTaxi also proves to be an opportunity for job creation for Ghanaians,” Mr. Nuwordu said.

As a company, we seek to offer new and innovative ways of transport. Our main aim is to offer e-mobility services in a clean and environmentally friendly manner. SolarTaxi App is the new offering that will seek to offer cheap and affordable transportation to residents of East Legon and Airport within a 10km radius. All the vehicles will be electric and we will offer 80% cheaper rates than what’s already on the market. We are looking to onboard 100 electric cars by the close of the year translating to 100 jobs for the youth.”

Solar Taxi began as an initiative in September 2018 and was launched by Kumasi Hive in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation. The company designs, locally assembles, and distributes a variety of electric cars and motorcycles. It also includes two years of free maintenance after purchase.

Credit: Ghana Daily Graphic


5 Cities: Emirates Airlines Begins Rebuilding Its African Network.

Emirates Airlines has resumed flights to five African countries, including Ghana, Guinea, Angola, Ivory Coast, and Uganda, after a brief hiatus in December.

After pausing flights in December, Dubai-based Emirates has resumed flights to five African countries, including Ghana, Guinea, Angola, Ivory Coast, and Uganda. The airline had suspended these routes late last year owing to omicron concerns.

Emirates partially reboot its African network

In a travel advisory posted late last week, Emirates confirmed the resumption of services to Gbessia International Airport in Conakry, Guinea; Entebbe International Airport in Entebbe, Uganda; Kotoka International Airport, in Accra, Ghana; Port Bouët Airport in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; and Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport, in Luanda, Angola. Flights resumed on January 13. Emirates notes flights to and from Nigeria have not recommenced.

Emirates is now flying a Boeing 777 between Dubai (DXB) and Conakry (CKY) four times a week. The ten-hour flight to the Guinean capital departs Dubai at breakfast time for an early afternoon arrival. The return flight leaves Conakry mid-afternoon and flies through the night to arrive in the UAE in time for breakfast the next day.

Flights to Entebbe are now operating five days a week with a mid-morning push back from Dubai and a mid-afternoon arrival into Entebbe (EBB). The return flight departs Entebbe late in the afternoon for arrival in Dubai later that evening. Flying time between the two cities is around five hours and 15 minutes.
Emirates is using its Boeing 777 aircraft on its relaunched African routes. Photo: Vincenzo Pace/Simple Flying

Emirates Accra – Abidjan tag flights.

Emirates is back to jetting down to Ghana’s capital every day. The eight-and-a-half-hour flight operated by a Boeing 777 leaves Dubai at breakfast for a lunchtime touch down in Accra (ACC). After several hours on the ground, the plane departs Accra early in the evening to land back in Dubai just after 06:00 the following morning.

The daily flights to Accra continue onto neighboring Abidjan (ABJ). After landing in Accra and spending 90 minutes on the ground, the Boeing continues onto Abidjan. The flying time between Accra and Abidjan is 60 minutes.

That flight touches down in Abidjan mid-afternoon and spends two hours on the ground there before returning to Accra. After picking up Dubai-bound passengers there, the jet continues its journey home.

The final resuming service is the four-times-a-week Boeing 777 flights between Dubai and Luanda (LAD), Angola. The service pushes back from Dubai mid-morning for the eight-hour flight south to the Angolan capital, landing there mid-afternoon. The return service departs Luanda early evening for a slightly shattering 04:40 arrival in Dubai the following day.

Big gaps remain in Emirates’ African network. Photo: Pranjal Pandel/Simple Flying

Further work needed to restore Emirates’ African network

A big hole in Emirates’ African network remains South Africa. Usually, the airline flies to Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. However, flights to Durban and Cape Town remain suspended while Emirates only carries inbound passengers to Johannesburg.

Emirates also normally flies to Addis Ababa (ADD), Algiers (ALG), Cairo (CAI), Casablanca (CMN), Dakar (DSS), Dar Es Saleem (DAR), Harare (HRE), Khartoum (KRT), Lusaka (LUN), Nairobi (NBO), and Tunis (TUN) on the continent.

However, the airline advises they have cancelled flights to and from Nairobi, Lusaka, Harare, Lagos, Abuja, and Casablanca until further notice. Passengers originating in either Dar Es Saleem or Addis Ababa are also not allowed to travel to or through Dubai until further notice.

Emirates stresses that while flights from Ghana, Guinea, Angola, Ivory Coast, and Uganda have resumed, specific travel requirements apply to passengers coming from these ports who intend to either enter Dubai or transit through Dubai.

Credit: SimpleFlying

Green Africa Airways_Team

Nigeria’s Green Africa Airways Commences Operation After Receiving AOC

Nigeria’s Green Africa Airways led by Founder & CEO Babawande Afolabi to commence operations after receiving its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

On August 9th, Green Africa Airways finally received its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The airline was forced to postpone its June 24th launch due to delays in obtaining the AOC. With this major hurdle out of the way, the carrier can begin its initial domestic services across Nigeria.

We at the NCAA are impressed with Green Africa’s effort and commitment to safely connect many more people across the country and we look forward to the positive contribution that the new airline will bring to the Nigerian aviation industry.” -Captain Musa Nuhu, NCAA

Commercial flights Begin

With all the necessary paperwork complete and AOC in hand, Green Africa is now cleared for its first official takeoff. The airline has announced that it will commence “a soft launch” of its flight schedule immediately. However, Thursday, August 12th, will see Green Africa’s first commercial flight.

The airline’s statement announcing the acquisition of its AOC failed to disclose where its first official flight would take it. While Simple Flying has inquired with the airline, it appears that Lagos to Abuja will be the airline’s first service.

Indeed, as shown with the screen capture embedded below, it appears that flights as early as tomorrow, August 11th, is bookable. This, of course, is the day before the airline’s stated “first official commercial flight.”

The airline’s first service connects Nigeria’s economic hub with its administrative capital. Photo: Green Africa

AOC delays cost airlines a month’s worth of operations

It’s been quite a journey for startup airline Green Africa Airways. Of course, getting any commercial airline ‘off the ground’ usually is- even when there isn’t a global health crisis taking place!

The airline had originally hoped to launch its operations on June 24th with its newly acquired ATR72 turboprops. However, delays in obtaining its AOC from civil aviation authorities cost Green Africa about a month and a half.

Speaking on the issue, Babawande Afolabi, Founder and CEO of Green Africa, said at the time of the delays,

“This is certainly a bump in the road, and we are mindful of the impact especially on our customers and other stakeholders. However, we are confident of the NCAA’s support and commitment to get Green Africa into service, and we have also put plans in place to compensate our affected customers.”

With the airline already having had bookings for June and July flights, it was forced to rearrange these existing reservations. To show appreciation for customer trust and recognize the inconvenience caused, the airline sent an automated email to all affected customers with 50% of the value of their booking in flight credit.

The Green Africa team posing with one of its newly acquired ATR72s. Photo: Green Africa Airways

Connecting Lagos with the rest of Nigeria

Now that the airline can actually fly passengers, it will connect Nigeria’s economic and commercial capital, Lagos, with other cities in Nigeria. After beginning its Lagos-Abuja service, the airline will add other services in the days and weeks following.

Destinations include:

  • Port Harcourt
  • Owerri
  • Enugu
  • Ilorin
  • Akure

Credit: Simple Flying


Qatar Airways Details Its Partnership With RwandAir for Customer Satisfaction

The partnership will leverage Qatar Airways’ global network, increase access to African destinations, and integrate respective loyalty programmes’ benefits.

Qatar Airways has officially inked an interline agreement with RwandAir, deepening their partnership. The move will allow travellers on both carriers to access over 160 destinations across the networks from their hubs. The agreement comes just weeks after the pair linked their miles schemes to allow passengers to earn on all flights.

In a statement this week, Qatar Airways announced the new interline agreement with RwandAir. The move will allow passengers to book flights across both airlines’ networks as though they were flying the same airline, flying via their hubs in Doha and Kigali.

In total, the agreement extends to an astounding 160 cities globally, giving passengers lots of choices now. This is in addition to Qatar and RwandAir’s decision to offer frequent flyer reciprocity, allowing passengers to earn and use their miles on any airline.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has always been optimistic about the RwandAir purchase and strategy. He reiterated the same view in a statement this week, saying,

This partnership cements our commitment to giving travellers the widest choice of destinations while providing a seamless, high-quality travel experience, which is the goal of both Qatar Airways and RwandAir. Africa is a hugely important market for us and this latest partnership will help support the recovery of international air travel and offer unrivalled connectivity to and from several new African destinations.

RwandAir’s rapidly growing presence in Africa could challenge the current market leaders and open the door to more passengers. Photo: Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways Acquisition

In February 2020, Qatar Airways acquired a 49% stake in RwandAir, giving it a huge advantage in the African market. This market was quickly growing more prominent for the bustling international airline, with new routes popping up even during the pandemic.

With the new interline agreement, Qatar Airways will be able to use Kigali as a partner hub for destinations across the continent. Meanwhile, RwandAir will get to offer its passengers connections across the globe, including lucrative European routes, all with a stop in Doha.

Qatar Airways will continue flying a five-times weekly service to Kigali (via Entebbe) in the future, opting for the Boeing 787-8 on this route. However, when demand increases, we could see nonstop flights and higher frequencies. A RwandAir service to Doha cannot be ruled out either, given the new potential for traffic.

Hundreds of Destinations

Qatar Airways is currently in the middle of a busy summer season, with hundreds of destinations back on the map. The carrier is currently seeing over 300 daily aircraft movements and carrying up to 90,000 passengers every day. This comes as the industry makes a strong recovery on the back of quick vaccine rollouts in several countries.

Qatar Airways was recently named Airline of the Year 2021 by Airline Ratings, also clinching Best Middle East Airline, Best Catering, and Best Business Class awards and became the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organization, Skytrax. For full details of all the safety measures that have been implemented on board and in HIA, please visit

For now, expect to see Qatar and RwandAir work more closely in the coming months and years. If predictions hold, Qatar Airways has a lot of gain from the new partnership, and RwandAir will be on track to become a major African player soon.

What do you think about the new agreement? Let us know in the comments!

Vaccine Passport Africa

COVID-19: Vaccine Inequity Could See Africans Shut Out Of Unrestricted Travel

In North America and Europe, around a third of the population are fully vaccinated, but in Africa, with an average of 13% fully vaccinated.

As the world starts to open up, a number of nations are actively contemplating allowing free travel to those who have received both shots of the vaccine. While that’s great for people in countries where the rollout has been a success, the inequality in the distribution of vaccine doses could leave some citizens shut out of such policies – most notably, Africans.

Less than 2% of Africa is fully vaccinated

The vaccination drive across the world has been celebrated as a huge success. In North America and Europe, around a third of the population is classed as fully vaccinated, having had both shots of a two-jab vaccine, or one of a single shot solution. But the situation elsewhere is not such a success.

Across the entire world, the fully vaccinated rate is less than 13%, with the average dragged down by lower rates in Asia and Oceania. However, the region with the very lowest rate is the continent of Africa, a region that is suffering from a lack of supply, despite efforts by airlines and governments alike to get doses where they’re needed.

Speaking at today’s CAPA Live event, Rwandair CEO Yvonne Manzi Makolo raised the issue of vaccine inequity, noting that,

“A lot of African countries have managed to contain the pandemic pretty well for the last almost year and a half now, including Rwanda where we operate from. But unfortunately, given the issue of vaccine inequity, a lot of African countries have not been able to get the number of vaccines that they have booked, including Rwanda. So we are seeing a situation wherein the entire African continent, less than 2% of the population is vaccinated, which is very worrying.”

Statistics from Our World In Data show that, to July 13th, 2.9% of Africa’s population had received at least one dose of the vaccine. Fully vaccinated (double jabbed) sits at less than 1.4%.

Even though rates across Africa are generally very low, there is still some significant variation in the rates between countries. Some of the lowest rates, such as in the DRC, Chad, Burkina Faso, and South Sudan, less than 0.5% of the population have received a single vaccine dose.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), has spoken out recently about the vaccine inequity issue. He has branded the inequity a “catastrophic moral failure” that has led to a “two-track pandemic,” even going so far as to call it “vaccine apartheid.”

Citizens could be shut out with current travel policies

As the world looks to reopen for travel, some governments are eyeing policies that would see fully vaccinated travellers moving around freely. Those without the full quota of doses would be restricted in where they could go and could face expensive quarantine and testing regimens if they are allowed to travel at all.

All RwandAir staff, as well as those working at Kigali Airport, have received both doses. Photo: RwandAir

Speaking on behalf of aviation in Africa, Makolo was concerned that Africa citizens could face being shut out of international travel through no fault of their own. She said,

“This gives us a lot of concern in the aviation industry in terms of the full restart of the industry. A lot of the developed world, in the US and Europe and in other areas, have achieved much higher levels of vaccination and we are also hearing a lot of calls for requests to allow travel for people who are vaccinated. This is a concern for us, because if you have almost the entire African continent unvaccinated, how are people going to travel?”

The Rwandair CEO believes that restricting travel to the fully vaccinated only would be unfair to the citizens of Africa who have not had the opportunity to take the jab. For a continent that did a sterling job of containing the virus, with only 4.5 million total confirmed cases compared to 66 million-plus in North and South America as well as Europe, it seems a cruel and unusual punishment for their efforts to date.

Testing is the only way forward

For the African aviation industry, which has typically struggled with profitability anyway, getting back to a solid restart is vital for their survival. Makolo believes that the only way to restart travel fairly in the face of vaccine inequity is to afford the same travel privileges to those presenting with a negative COVID test result as to those who have had the benefit of the vaccine.

“From our side, we really want to see a situation where we still allow people to travel wherever they need to travel, as long as they have a negative COVID test. And the ones who are vaccinated can be allowed to travel freely. We have to allow for both.”

Rwandair is trailing a number of digital health passes, including the IATA Travel Pass. Photo: IATA

Rwandair is the first airline in Africa to begin trialling the IATA Travel Pass as a means of proving vaccination and test result status. The airline is also in talks with Common Pass and with the African Union to test out their offers of digital health certificates. Ultimately, it will choose the one that best suits its needs.

With digital passes possessing the ability to eliminate fraudulent test results, airlines in African can only hope these hold the key to unlocking international travel sooner rather than later.

The post originally authored by Joanna Bailey was first published here.

Qatar Airways To Launch 4 Weekly Flights To Accra Starting 29 September

Qatar Airways is pleased to announce it will operate four weekly flights to Accra, Ghana via Lagos from 29 September 2020 becoming the fourth new destination launched by the national carrier of the State of Qatar since the start of the pandemic. The Accra service will be operated by the airline’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class.