Beginning from July 1st, Ghanaian citizens and their Jamaican counterparts can travel to each other’s nations without a visa.
The announcement was made on Sunday when Ghana’s President Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo visited Jamaica as part of a two-day visit to the Carribean country.
Ghana and Jamaica have similar traditions and culture which is believed to have come about due to the Transatlantic slave trade that occurred some 400 years ago.
Speaking at a press conference in Kingston with the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, President Akufo-Addo underscored the need for a visa waiver at a crucial time such as this. According to him, this was going to facilitate the easy movement of Jamaicans to Ghana during celebrations to mark the Year of Return
“We cannot have visas standing in the way of those relations, so the decision has been taken by my government that, as Ghanaians benefit from visa-free arrangements here in Jamaica, we are also going to provide visa-free arrangements for Jamaicans in Ghana,” he said.
The two leaders also promised to reactivate the Ghana-Jamaica Permanent Joint Commission for Co-operation, which has been dormant for a while. In President Akufo-Addo’s view, when the policy is properly structured, the Commission will serve as a legal framework for conducting business between the two countries.
“Now, it has come to the time to give teeth to those relations by making sure the various areas of engagement in education, tourism and cultural activity are specifically tied down.
“That is really my purpose of coming here, apart from a mission to sensitize you in Jamaica about an event that we are commemorating this year,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo is in the Carribean to strengthen ties with members of the diaspora and promote the Year of Return which aims to bring descendants of slaves who live in the America and Carribean to reconnect with their past.