The Togolese Republic has announced the completion and re-launch of its electronic visa issuance system (e-Visa), Togo VOYAGE. The fully-digitized website marks an important milestone in the government’s Digital 2025 Strategy. The homegrown solution aims to simplify and streamline the entire visa process for travellers.
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.
Commenting on the new Voyage Togo platform, H.E. Madam Cina Lawson, Minister of Digital Economy and Transformation for Togo, said, “Once again, Togo has proven to be an innovator in the field of digitization 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.”
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.
Currently, the platform and its supporting mechanism are only deployed at the air borders. However, the government plans to extend it to land and sea borders throughout the year 2022. 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 will be the first country in the world 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.
H.E. Gen. Damehame Yark, Minister of Security and Civil Protection quotes how this new platform will help enhance security at the borders as it enables to create a unique database for entry and exit of the territory “I am pleased with Voyage Togo platform because it is revolutionizing 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.
The Togolese government has committed itself to the digitization 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.
The West African nation has proven itself an innovator in the field of digitization on the continent, with the recent announcement of a host of measures placing digitization at the forefront of Togolese business and administration. 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).
TH.E. 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.”