The South African Minister of Tourism, Derek Andre Hanekom, has assured that much is being done with procedures already in place for a seamless visa process for West African nations. Hanekom, who was in Nigeria recently for the 61st Regional Tourism Conference of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in Abuja, also requested the Consular General Amb, Darkey Africa to immediately work on reviewing the visa processes and also specifically address the issues around visa durations for applicants, especially for repeat travelers.
The Minister, who spoke during a special dinner with stakeholders and South Africa's key trade travel partners at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, also discussed issues around the re-occurring challenges of visa processing as one of the key issues, which hinders the over-all experience of Nigerians traveling to South Africa.
"There's much being done to ease the South African Visa issues in Nigeria; we are working towards eventually having an e-visa regime. We want to modernise the systems and ease the burdens. In the interim, we will be working on recognising valid visa's from other countries such as USA, U.K .etc, so that, Nigerians with such Visa's will be given leniency. Africa is indeed open for business, and offers a world of opportunity," the Minister said.
Hanekom, who continues to promote unity and a two-way traffic of tourism between the two countries, called for greater regional co-operation between both nations, adding, "We need to work together to ensure ease of travel and the continued growth the tourism across the continent."
On his part, the Consular General re-affirmed the position on visas, saying, "We are aware of the visa situation and are working towards resolving them with the colleagues from home affairs," urging applicants to always submit applications on time and with sufficient supporting documents.
The meeting played a key role in solidifying the unification of West Africa and South Africa, with much being done to strengthen areas of synergy between the two nations.