About a month ago, I officially joined the seedstars world family where we are on a mission to discover the best start-ups from more than 60 emerging countries and bring them to a world stage and half a million dollar winning prize. In order to find these start ups, each continental region has a team of 2/3 people that will travel to organize these competitions, network with the local players and to understand the overall regional startup entrepreneurship ecosystem. Therefore, as an Associate for Africa, this basically means that I will be traveling. A lot. Don’t get too excited yet tho, because there is a catch. I have an Ethiopian Passport!
Remember that one document/wiki article which was being passed around with the title “36 countries Ethiopians can travel without visas” ? guess what, LIES. The truth is, out of the 26 countries I am supposed to travel to, I can ONLY go to 3 of them with out a visa and no on-arrival option for any of the countries.
It has been said time and again that it is much easier for an American or European to travel in Africa than it is for Africans themselves. But it is even worse when you have my passport. It’s near impossible to go anywhere in the world. So, in order for me to keep my new job I started try and make sure to get my visas months before my contract even started.
I understand we are a long way behind to even talk about open borders,but can’t we at least start working on proper, uniform requirement formats that one can use across the continent?
Read the whole article with all its travel challenges at medium.com/akoma-media/africa-in-the-eyes-of-an-ethiopian.