The Namibian government is set to relax its visa policy with plans to soon introduce visa-on-arrival for African citizens, in preparation of ultimately scrapping off visa requirements the country’s President Hage Geingob announced.
According to reports, the Namibian President made the pronouncement this week while addressing diplomats and government officials during a policy review meeting.
Namibia recently scrapped off visa requirements for diplomatic and official passport holders, the first step the country took in the implementation of the the African Union’s 2063 Agenda for “a continent with seamless borders” to help facilitate the free movement of African citizens.
The planned visa-on-arrival policy is a laudable step, which signals Namibia’s commitment to the AU’s recommendations, calling on member states to implement the 30-day visa-on-arrival policy. Earlier this year, the AU appealed to countries to review their visa policies to “implement mechanisms allowing for the issuing of visas on arrival for citizens of Member States, with the possibility of a 30-day stay”.
However, other governments have been rather slow in implementing the visa-on-arrival policy with only a few countries having implemented the policy (these include Rwanda, Mauritius and more recently Ghana).
This month Ghana started issuing visas-on-arrival to African citizens visiting the country in accordance with the AU recommendation.
According to the African Development Bank (AfDB) Index, Africa remains largely closed off to African travellers and on average, “Africans need visas to travel to 55% of other African countries, can get visas on arrival in only 25% of other countries and don’t need a visa to travel to just 20% of other countries on the continent”. This reality could however soon change as countries begin showing their commitment to plans to open up their borders to the rest of the continent.