2016 Findings: Countries looking to open up on visas
After the launch of the Africa Visa Openness Index, a number of countries in West Africa and Southern Africa signalled their intention to allow greater access for African travellers and facilitate the movement of people across the continent. The measures proposed include removing visas for Africans, granting multiple entry visas for African business and academics and removing visas within Regional Economic Communities. The drivers behind the policy changes include promoting the tourism sector, economic growth and regional integration.
- 2016 Index ranking: no. 27 (2015: no. 31)
- Benin has announced a decision to remove visas on arrival for all African passport/national identity card holders to stay in the country for up to 90 days. The decision is part of the government’s vision to build a proactive tourism industry.
Inspired by Rwanda’s experience,I have come to the decision that Benin will no longer demand visas for Africans. This South-South cooperation can become a reality.
- 2016 Index ranking: no. 34 (2015: no. 35)
- South Africa has approved 10-year multiple entry visas to African businesses and academics to boost growth, alongside immigration concessions to support tourism.
In line with its commitment to ensure that immigration served as a vehicle for enhancing economic growth, the Minister of Home Affairs approved the granting of 10-year multiple entry visas to business and academics from Africa.
- 2016 Index ranking: no. 36 (2015: no. 38)
- Namibia has announced that SADC citizens will not require visas to visit the country for either business or tourism so as to boost free movement of people within SADC.
This is how we celebrate Namibia, but obviously we would also want other SADC member states to follow suit because we want to see cordial relations being strengthened among member states.
- 2016 Index ranking: no. 21 (2015: no. 27)
- Zimbabwe has announced that all SADC citizens can now visit the country visa-free in order to boost the tourism sector and bring sustainable socio-economic benefits.
This new position completes the circle and process for us as Zimbabwe, in line with and fulfillment of the spirit and objectives of the SADC Protocol on the Facilitation of Movement of Persons.