Boycott Dubai Expo over UAE travel restrictions – Ablakwa to African countries

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has urged African countries to consider boycotting the Dubai Expo over the decision of the UAE authorities to stop accepting travellers from some African countries, including Ghana, in its efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking to Citi News, Mr. Ablakwa said the Dubai Expo “offers us an opportunity to announce that African countries will withdraw en masse.”

“If this threat is issued, trust me, the UAE authorities will reverse this discriminatory ban with immediate effect,” Mr. Ablakwa said.

From Tuesday, December 28, 2021, all flights from Angola, Guinea, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Ghana to the UAE city of Dubai will not be allowed entry or transit until further notice.

Other African countries already banned are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Mr. Ablakwa, who is a ranking member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, described the ban as draconian, discriminatory and senseless.

“If you look at the daily cases, it is way below the UAE itself… it is way below countries such as France, Italy, United Kingdom, the United States of America and India, who continue to fly directly to the UAE.”

“The World Health Organization has stated clearly that, travel bans are counterproductive to the spread of COVID-19 and the new Omicron variant,” he added.

He further charged President Nana Akufo-Addo and other African leaders to demand the lifting of the ban or retaliate.

“An ultimatum must be sent to the UAE authorities to reverse this ban with immediate effect, failing which there ought to be the diplomatic principle of reciprocity.”