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Zimbabwe and Botswana introduce visa-free travel deal

Both countries join the growing list of African nations that have recently implemented bilateral agreements allowing visa-free movement between them.

“The two of us have agreed because we are African. We should be able to walk into Botswana, walk into Zambia, walk into Kenya. Why should we restrict ourselves?” said Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson on Thursday, disclosing a conversation he had with Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

“We impose constraints on ourselves which are more colonial than they are patriotic, so we agreed that he (President Masisi) himself on his side and myself on my side are going to instruct the relevant departments to ease these constraints of movement of people between our two countries.” he said.

Trend of visa-free travel in African countries

A promising development is underway in Africa, as several countries are working on welcoming African visitors without the hassle of visas. The gradual wave of visa-free entry policies has opened a more earnest conversation on the power of connectivity and integration.

Seychelles, The Gambia, and Benin currently offer visa-free entry to Africans. Last month Rwanda also announced visa-free entry for all African nationals.

In late October, Kenyan President William Ruto announced plans to eliminate visa requirements for all African visitors by the end of 2023, aiming to boost trade and strengthen economic ties with other African nations.

Several African countries, including Botswana and Namibia, South Africa and Ghana, and Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, have entered into reciprocal visa waiver agreements.

Source: Business Insider