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US Embassy Denies Visa for Ethiopian Business People

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The US Embassy in Addis Ababa denied visas for Ethiopian business people who were travelling to Los Angeles last week to attend the African Global Economic and Development Summit held on March16-18, 2017 in the University of Southern California.


At least 20 Ethiopian business people, who were invited to attend the three-day annual African trade summit, were all denied entry visas. One of the business people whose visa application was rejected told The Reporter that he has presented an extensive documentation to the embassy’s visa consular affairs section including bank statements and property records. “It is sad that we are unable to attend the trade summit meant to create business opportunities for Ethiopian companies due to visa issues,” he said.

Spokesperson of the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, Nick Barnett, said that the embassy cannot comment on individual cases. In an email response to The Reporter, Barnett said: “There have been no new restrictions on visa issuance to Ethiopian citizens. The US government facilitates legitimate travel to the United States in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, which applies to all visa applicants, regardless of nationality.”

According to organizer of the African Global Economic and Development Summit, Mary Flowers, the annual African trade summit typically brings delegations from across Africa to meet with business leaders in the US in an effort to foster partnerships. Ethiopian businesspeople were not the only ones to be denied entry visas.