Story by Nathaniel Nartey.
The governments of Ghana and UAE have completed processes involved in the visa waiver agreement for diplomatic and service passport holders that was ratified by the Parliament of Ghana earlier this month.
Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecelia Dapaah, was the first Ghanaian to benefit from the visa waiver agreement after she entered the UAE on August 16, 2021, without any visa requirements.
This was revealed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in a virtual meeting with the Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Shakhboot Bin Nahyan Al Nahyan in Accra.
“The good news is on Monday, August 16, 2021, the very first entry into the UAE with visa exemption was Our Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecelia Dapaah. That means the agreement for diplomatic and service passports holders has been completed and is being implemented.”
According to the agreement, the visa waiver applies to people holding diplomatic, service, and ordinary passports.
Ghana’s embassy in the UAE had to make some clarifications on the agreement after it became public following the ratification, saying “even though the agreement has been ratified by the Parliament of Ghana, the processes for its implementation have not been completed”.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said, “recent inaccurate media reportage had created some misconceptions in the minds of some members of the traveling public in Ghana following the announcement of the Parliamentary ratification of the agreement for the Mutual Exemption of Entry Visa Requirements for holders of certain categories of passports signed between Ghana and the UAE. In that regard, public education will be embarked upon by the Government to clarify the inaccuracies so as to enable a smooth implementation of the Mutual Exemption of the Entry visas in line with the intention of the two countries.”
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey reiterated the need to ratify other greements such as promotion and protection of investments between the two nations.
Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Shakhboot Bin Nahyan Al Nahyan pledged his country’s commitment to ratifying these agreements.