The government of Sierra Leone has committed itself to promoting tourism and attracting foreign direct investment by changing its visa policy. The Sierra Leonean Ministry of Internal Affairs in a press release announced a new visa on arrival policy.
Sierra Leone, a member of the Economic West African States (ECOWAS) won’t charge any visa fees for West African countries. Other African Union countries will pay a visa fee of $25 while all other countries will pay a visa fee of $80.
In its press release, the ministry stated that, “Citizens of ECOWAS states and all other countries with which Sierra Leone has visa-free agreements will continue to enjoy visa-free access”.
According to Sierra Leone’s Information Minister, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, he said, “This is an indication that the new direction is poised to take the country to another level and our latest step in making the country attractive to tourists and foreign investors.”
The visa on arrival policy extends to citizens of countries and blocs like the United Kingdom, European Union citizens, U.S. citizens, citizens of Commonwealth member countries, citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council member countries, and citizens of the BRICS countries among others.
Sierra Leone’s beaches are one of the most beautiful in the world but they have not brought enough tourist presence to the country. The potential for revenue through tourism is about $100 million annually. Sierra Leone joins countries such as Ethiopia and Rwanda by opening its borders to other Africans.