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Togo claims world-first with new e-Visa platform

By , ITWeb
Togo , 11 Jul 2022

West African country claims to be the first to fully integrate under a single platform, their online visa and immigration application processes with their COVID-19-related policies.

The Togolese Republic has today announced the completion and re-launch of its electronic visa issuance system (e-Visa), Togo VOYAGE. The system is designed to simplify the entire visa and health check application process for visitors to the country.

According to a statement released by the country’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Transformation, the website marks an important milestone in the government's Digital 2025 Strategy.

It added that the new system will allow applicants to complete the application process (including submission of the application, payment, and withdrawal of the e-Visa) electronically without needing to visit an immigration office or embassy in person.

The platform will also allow incoming and outgoing travellers to complete all the necessary health formalities to ensure safe travel, including paying for PCR tests for unvaccinated travellers, which are mandatory on departure and arrival in Togo.

“The intuitive new platform, available in French and English, offers many features such as a "Visa Wizard" which enables incoming travellers to quickly determine whether they need a visa to travel to Togo. It allows travellers to update their information by creating a personal account, consequently saving their personal information such as names, contact details, passport numbers, etc., to avoid refilling all their information for each trip they organise,” the Ministry noted.

Officials added that the platform and its supporting mechanism is currently only deployed at airports, however more widespread roll out is expected during the course of this year.

The project is carried out by the Togo Digital Agency (Agence Togo Digital, ATD), which has been designated as a ‘catalyst for digital transformation in public administration’ in the country.

While many countries provide e-visa services, Togo’s government said the country will be the first globally “to fully integrate under a single platform, their online visa and immigration application processes with their COVID-19-related policies, significantly easing the application process for future visitors.”

Cina Lawson, Minister of Digital Economy and Transformation for Togo, said, "Once again, Togo has proven to be an innovator in the field of digitisation on the continent and globally. As we ambition to become a digital service hub and an international centre for innovation and expertise we are modernising all sectors of our economy and launching Voyage Togo is one more bold step toward that.”

Gen. Damehame Yark, Minister of Security and Civil Protection, added: “I am pleased with Voyage Togo platform because it is revolutionising our work methods. Today, we have access to a unique and virtual database of travellers coming in and moving out of the country, making it a hundred times faster to process and allowing our national security services to deliver more efficiently."

Prof. Robert Dussey, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Regional Integration was happy about this achievement. “The Voyage Togo platform is streamlining travel processes and formalities to and from our country. This is great news for foreigners wanting to come to Togo.”

The Togolese government has committed itself to the digitisation of all public services by 2025, in a drive to improve the ease of doing business for local and international investors, as well as deliver efficient government services for its citizens.

In March, the Togolese government partnered with Google to link the country to the new Equiano subsea internet cable, to establish the country as a vital services and logistics hub in West Africa. Togo also hosted an important international conference on cybersecurity in Africa in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

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