SADC Countries To Scrap Out Visa Requirements Between Each Other
The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) has immense trade potential. But we hamper various economic activities by imposing rigorous travel restrictions.
The restrictions deny trading opportunities in the bloc of some 350 million people in terms of a combined consumer market.
There’s, therefore, the need to ease the movement of people (and goods) across the Sadc countries.
Speaking at a meeting of the SADC ministers responsible for the Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Thembinkosi Mhlongo from South Africa appealed for the introduction of a single-visa system for the 16-nation Sadc.
Indeed, adopting common visa arrangements would make intra-trade more vibrant – and also boost the number of tourists visiting our countries.
Today, travelers want seamless movement across countries. Tourists coming from afar may also want to visit more than one country within the bloc, but current visa restrictions discourage this.
This is despite the Sadc bloc having a Tourism Development Programme in place which aims at promoting the region as a single tourism destination.
We no longer need the hassle and bustle of applying for a visa at almost every border crossing to enter a country within the bloc.
Admittedly, intra-regional trade and investment flows have slightly improved. But we can – and should, must – do more!
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