Windhoek — Namibia has decided to start issuing visas on arrival to a good number of African, Asian, European, North American and South American countries, Minister of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) Stanley Simataa announced yesterday.
Briefing the media here on Cabinet resolutions, Simataa said Cabinet has approved that the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration commence with the pilot project of issuing visas upon arrival at Hosea Kutako International Airport.
He said African countries to benefit from this new development include, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Chad, Comoros, Cote d' Ivore, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principé, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tunisia, Western Sahara Republic and Uganda.
Simataa said other countries include Belarus, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile, Czech Republic, Hungary, Mexico, Moldova, Nicaragua, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Venezuela, Vietnam, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Ukraine.
He told the media that Cabinet approved that the second phase of implementation will take place at the border posts of Ariamsvlei, Noordoewer, Oranjemund, Trans-Kalahari, Wenela, Oshikango and Walvis Bay.
He said an amount of N$1000 will be charged for the issuance of the visa upon arrival at Hosea Kutako International Airport.
However, Simataa noted that Namibia has exempted nationals of certain countries from visa requirements in certain categories, such as holders of diplomatic, ordinary and minor ordinary passports from Jamaica, and holders of diplomatic and official passports from Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Chad, Comoros, Cote d' Ivore, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principé, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.
He said foreign nationals exempted from visa requirements when travelling to Namibia on holiday, tourism purpose include Angola, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Congo-Brazzaville (holders of diplomatic passport only), Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana (holders of diplomatic passport and service passport only), Hong Kong, Iceland, India (holders of diplomatic and official passport up to three months), Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein and Lesotho.
Others include Luxemburg, Macua (SAR), Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritius, Moldova, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria (holders of diplomatic and official passport up to three months), Norway, Poland (holders of diplomatic and official passport up to three month only), Portugal, Russian Federation, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkey (holders of diplomatic and official passport only), Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (holders of diplomatic and official passport only), Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, according to the African Development Bank's 2017 Africa Visa Openness Report, Africans can get a visa on arrival in just 24% of other African countries, while North Americans, for example, have easier travel access on the continent.
"Free movement on the continent would entail the implementation of continent-wide visa-free regimes including issuance of visas at ports of entry for Africans," the AU suggested in February last year.
Already Ghana, Rwanda, Mauritius and the Seychelles issue visas on arrival to all African passport holders. In 2016, the electronic African Union Passport was launched and issued to heads of state and governments, with the goal of expanding it to citizens.