Trump could extend travel ban to certain African countries
The Trump administration is considering adding several African countries to a US travel ban list, including Africa’s top tech hub, Nigeria.
Politico first reported the White House is considering Tanzania, Eritrea, Sudan and Nigeria for new travel restrictions, to coincide with the three-year anniversary of Trump’s original executive order, that targeted majority-Muslim nations.
In its current form, as Executive Order 13780, the ban places restrictions on entry for citizens of Libya, North Korea, Syria and Yemen naming “significant terrorist presence within their territory” and “deficient” immigration screening processes.
The ban on Nigeria could be the most problematic for US trade relations since the country is the most populated one on the continent and has become a magnet for venture capital and a strategic entry point for Silicon Valley firms.
Nigerian tech is also home to a growing number of founders with ties to the US and startups with operations in both countries. The ban could lead Nigerian techies away from the US market and towards China.
According to TechCrunch, in the last two quarters of 2019, more than 15 Chinese actors invested over $240.0m in VC in Africa. More than $210.0m of that was for startups in Nigeria.
The Department of State has not yet confirmed the extension of the travel ban to Nigeria or other African countries.