Lettre ouverte to African leaders “Made in Africa” goes through the “NO Visa” to African Entrepreneurs

At the end of the 2019 edition of Hub Africa, the two co-founders of the platform dedicated to the continent’s entrepreneurs, Alioune Gueye & Zakaria Fahim, sent an open letter to the leaders of the continent, in order to remove the barriers that slow down the emergence of African champions. Begin by opening their borders !

Ladies and gentlemen,

African entrepreneurs suffer from asymmetrical competition vis-à-vis their foreign counterparts: European or American, in particular. This state of affairs must stop.

How to design a “Made In Africa” ​​with all these annoyances? It is not uncommon for African operators, who already hold letters of invitation duly legalized by the officials of a host country, to face insurmountable pitfalls in the embassies of these countries, at home.

Guinean winners at the Pitch de Casablanca final at Hub Africa 2019 could not reach the economic capital on June 12 & 13. Yet ironically, one of them, winning at the stage of Conakry and holding a French nationality was able to travel safely … And very often the instructions given by the Chancelleries, to speed up the procedures for granting the to these bosses, remain vain or are educated that, alas, too late. Accustomed to travel often for short periods, it is difficult for them to wait for the usual delays of 10 to 15 days, not being able to be “confiscated” their passports held by the consulate for several days …

It is a question of giving the right place to the entrepreneurs of the continent. There are countries that have already taken initiatives, such as Rwanda. Pending the application and entry into force of the African Passport, we ask that entrepreneurs, through trusted third parties that are the employers or chambers of commerce of countries, to fluidify and allow the granting the visa without a whole series of administrative procedures and unnecessary travel.

Such approaches cost a lot and demotivate those who want to go to our African markets. Like a leitmotiv, everyone says, “It’s complicated!” In addition, it’s a real obstacle course. Today, in 2018, we can not present ourselves as the continent of the future and allow such practices to continue, which undermine the performance of our businesses. Certainly, we must integrate: safety and security – we have thought about it too – but the contractors who will be “validated” will be partner entrepreneurs. For example, the CNP (National Council of Employers of Senegal) can give the visa to contractors recommended by their counterpart of the host country it receives in Senegal, for example. This avoids the retention of the passport over periods of several days … The idea is “to validate operators already known and who have established.” The Negative Visa approach, which allows access to a negative database … with the recommendations, to signify that security is taken into account, would be applied.

Thus, visa services are unblocked. The chancelleries will give all their nobility to the economic diplomacy, by activating this Public Private partnership at the service of the Entrepreneurs (e) s and the “Made in Africa”.

Alioune Gueye, Président NGE Impact  & Zakaria Fahim, Président Hub Africa