Namibia to review Kenya visa abolishment

Home National Namibia to review Kenya visa abolishment

Albertina Nakale

WINDHOEK- Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration to review the agreement on the abolishment of visas between Namibia and Kenya for implementation on a reciprocal basis. Aspiration 2 of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 includes a goal to be a “continent with seamless borders” where “the free movement of people, capital,  goods and services will result in significant increases in trade and investments amongst African countries, rising to unprecedented levels, and strengthen Africa’s place in global trade.” 

Greater visa openness is vital part of the solution to get Africa to reach that vision.
The Africa Visa Openness Report 2016 ranked Namibia as 38th African country less performing on visa openness – compared to the likes of Seychelles which is a visa-free country. 

This means that there are no visa requirements for any person wishing to travel to the island nation. Namibia is among those countries that still have more visa-restrictive requirements for visitors to get a visa before they travel, in most cases from an embassy. A more visa-open country has a liberal or relaxed visa policy for travellers, so that visitors either do not need a visa when they enter or can get a visa upon arrival.

Following President Hage Geingob’s state visit to Kenya in October, Cabinet took note of the report of the inaugural session of the Namibia Kenya Joint Commission of Cooperation and directed affected line ministries to expedite potential cooperation with Kenya in areas of interest. Minister of Information Communication and Technology Stanley Simataa during the Cabinet briefing yesterday said among these ministries is the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, which has been directed to review the agreement on visa abolishment between Namibia and Kenya for implementation on reciprocal basis. 

Further, Simataa said Cabinet directed the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation to conclude the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on diplomatic training for foreign service officers. He said the Ministry of Defence has been directed to explore possible areas of co-operation especially in combating illicit trade of narcotic drugs.

Cabinet also directed the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development to expedite the finalisation of the draft Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA); while the Ministry of Justice is directed to expedite its internal processes and finalise the pending agreements on extradition and transfer of foreign prisoners which were submitted by Kenya.

Additionally, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has been directed to ensure implementation of the just signed cooperation agreement on tourism; while the Ministry of Works and Transport is to explore areas of cooperation and expedite the MoU between the ports authorities of the two countries.

The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology is directed to explore co-operation in the areas of information communication technology (ICT) capacity building; development of ICT application systems; cyber security; program exchange in the field of television and radio; and collaboration between news agencies and other ICT related areas.

Simataa said the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has been directed to explore collaboration in capacity building of teachers, especially in the field of science, engineering, maths and technology, and initiate a draft MoU on technical cooperation.

He revealed Cabinet endorsed the nomination of Ambassador Tuliameni Kalomoh, special advisor to Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, to serve in the African Union (AU) High Level Panel of Eminent Africans, which will oversee the pre-selection of candidates of the senior leadership of the African Union Commission;

Moreover, he noted that Cabinet approved that Namibia continues to pay its assessed contributions to the AU regular budget, as well as to the AU Peace Fund, on time and in full.

Cabinet also approved that, as chair of SADC, Namibia must coordinate with the SADC Secretariat the preparation of SADC report on the status of integration to be presented at the coordination meeting of the AU with regional economic communities (RECs), regional mechanisms and member states between June or July 2019.