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Ethiopia Will Now Grant Visas on Arrival to African Travelers

Ethiopia is the latest African nation to ease travel for African foreign nationals.

Ethiopia is making travel a lot easier for African nationals.

The country's President Mulatu Teshome, announced at the opening of parliament on Monday, that the country would begin to grant visas upon arrival to African nationals, easing the inconvenience of having to apply for them in advance. "A relaxed visa regime will enhance both Ethiopia's openness and will allow the country to harness the significant stopover transit traffic of Fly Ethiopian," he said during the ceremony.

According to Africa News, the move comes just after the country began issuing visas online for tourists and other visitors from across the world under the order of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.


All African nations were to scrap visa requirements for intra-continental travel by 2018 as part of the African Union's "vision and roadmap for the next 50 years" mission. Yet, according to the BBC only 22 percent of African countires allow for African foreign nationals to enter visa-free.

Last year, Kenya scrapped its visa requirements for African travelers, joining countries like Namibia, Mauritius, Ghana, Rwanda, Benin and Seychelles which have all eased travel within the continent, reports BBC.

In 2016 an African Passport was introduced intended to grant entrance into all 54 countries, but it has only been available to certain high-ranking officials like Rwanda's President Paul Kagame and Chad's Idriss Eby who were amongst the first and only leaders to receive one.

Though there appears to be widespread support from citizens and leaders for open travel within the continent, governments have been slow to act on the matter, and in some countries it is still considerably easier to enter on a European passport. In South Africa , for example, "citizens of only 15 African nations can travel without a visa, yet holders of 28 different European passports can enter the country freely," to quote the BBC directly.

MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB:

Why is it so hard for Africans to visit other African countries?

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A visa-free Africa still facing hurdles

Photo: Trevor Stuurman

Ghanaian Designer Steve French On The Influence of Cartoons & Earning A Gucci Fellowship

He's been designing fashion since 2015, but Steve French doesn't mind how long people take to notice his work - just as long as they notice.

Steve French personifies the thought that unwavering faith in one’s talent and capabilities can open doors. The Ghanaian fashion designer, stylist and illustrator didn’t make the initial top 10 for the 2019 Gucci Design Fellowship program but the organizers ended up expanding the list to include him because of his aptitude.

Launched in March 2019, the program is part of the luxury fashion brand’s initiative to offer opportunities to underrepresented designers, and to promote cultural exchanges between people from different backgrounds. The fellows get to learn from the Creative Director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele, and his team for a year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, French’s class shifted, and they began their fellowship in March this year.

“The 11th designer from Ghana [French] was a decision taken today,” stated Marco Bizzari, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gucci, about the decision to add French to the mix, as reported on fashion website, WWD. “The team didn’t want to let him go.”

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Music
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The 6 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring DJ Lag, Asa, LasGiiDi, Kaien Cruz, Imarhan and more

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Interview
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DJ Neptune Surveys the Sounds & Genres Running Africa In His New Album

Greatness 2.0 features an all-star cast of African artists and jumps from afrobeats to amapiano to asakaa, Ghana’s thrilling new take on drill.

Transitioning from a DJ to an artist is no small feat. Nigeria’s DJ Neptune has always had good ear for what the people want to hear, but in past years he's also shown his skill at assembling hitmakers to make a hit and earn a spot on any afrobeats playlist.

Neptune has been dotingly described as "Africa’s DJ Khaled" for his ability to bring the continent’s top names together in musical harmony. His 2018 debut album, Greatness: The Album, pulled from his extensive contacts and years of experience as one of Nigeria’s most influential radio personalities to create a star-studded compilation with features from Burna Boy, Davido, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Efya, Kizz Daniel and Olamide, to name a few.

In 2020, during the pandemic, DJ Neptune endeared himself with his intimate live sessions with Neptune Isolation Radio, where he constantly entertained people during the lockdown. After more than a decade as a DJ, and also one of afrobeats’ most influential personalities and curators, he has assembled some of Africa’s hitmakers for his sophomore album, Greatness 2.0, which he describes as “a playlist with Africa’s favorite artists.”

Artists on the truly pan-African project include Nigeria’s Mr Eazi, Rema, Patoranking, Yemi Alade, Stonebwoy, Joeboy, Omah Lay, Simi, Adekunle Gold, Laycon, Ladipoe, Blaqbonez, Cheque, Peruzzi, Bella Shmurda and Phyno, Ghana’s Stonebwoy and Kofi Jamar, Harmonize and Anjella from Tanzania, South Africa’s Focalistic; and UK rapper One Acen. Collaborating with Neptune on production are Magic Sticks, Dëra and MOG, among other afrobeats hitmakers.

Greatness 2.0 is a survey of the sounds and genres currently running Africa —from afrobeats to amapiano and asakaa, Ghana’s thrilling new take on drill.

In this interview, we speak with DJ Neptune about DJ culture in Nigeria, working with some of Africa's biggest superstars, and his new album.

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Watch Wizkid's Historic Performance at London's O2 Arena

The Nigerian superstar made history by being the first African artist to sell out three shows in a row during his Made In Lagos tour.