Zimbabwe has become the first country to exempt all SADC Member States from visa requirements, taking the lead in the region as part of accelerated efforts to operationalise the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
African countries are relaxing visa rules for each other to boost trade and tourism facilitated by the historic free trade agreement, AfCFTA, ratified by African Union (AU) member states.
Zimbabwe is also stepping up its engagement with other countries in tourism exchange through the Kaza UniVisa which is available to 65 nations which allows visitors to Zimbabwe and Zambia unlimited access to the two countries over a period of 30 days.
In a statement last night, the outgoing chair of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO), Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava gave some details of the journey travelled by the organ under Zimbabwe’s chairmanship.
“Regarding the implementation of the visa exemption among SADC Member States and the facilitation of free movement of SADC citizens within the region, I wish to highlight that Zimbabwe is the first and only country that has exempted all SADC Member States from visa requirements, other SADC Member States are undertaking internal processes to ensure that SADC citizens can travel freely in the region.”
“It may also be recalled that as part of SADC’s broader regional integration agenda, efforts towards a SADC UNIVISA are ongoing,” said Minister Shava.
“I am happy to note that through the efforts of our Ministry of Home Affairs and cultural heritage and the Department of Immigration, Zimbabwe is now part of the five countries that are part of the UNIVISA pilot project.”
The AfCFTA is the strategic framework for delivering on Africa’s goal for inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete manifestation of the Pan-African drive.
During yesterday’s virtual meeting Zimbabwe was represented by Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of State for National Security Owen Ncube, Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Kazembe Kazembe and other senior Government officials.