Windhoek, the capital, is in central Namibia and 1700m above sea level. File image

Gaborone - Namibian President Gage Geingob says the country will soon start issuing African passport holders with visas on arrival at ports of entry as a first step towards the eventual abolition of all visa requirements for all Africans.

According to “The Namibian” newspaper, Geingob revealed the plan while addressing top government officials and locally-based international diplomats during the official opening of a Foreign Policy Review conference in Windhoek on Monday.

Geingob said the new visa policy would be an extension of the visa-free entry privilege Namibia recently offered to diplomats and AU passport holders. “We are committed to extending this privilege to all African passport holders by initially issuing visas on arrival, and eventually abolishing visa requirements,” he said.

Further, he said the relaxation and eventual abolition of visa requirements would promote the goals of a common African passport by 2018. The attainment of the single AU passport regime is a critical component of the African Union's continental integration masterplan outlined in Agenda 2063.

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The president added that Namibian foreign policy should be guided by the vision of development in a continent where there are no coups as leaders retire in dignity.

“Our policy on international relations and cooperation should also take into consideration what I refer to as the new Africa. This is an Africa where coups d'etats are no longer tolerated, where leaders retire in dignity and an Africa that reflects its true narrative,” Geingob said.

Among other issues, the Foreign Policy Review Conference assessed the country's foreign policy achievements and debated ways of addressing evolving and emerging threats in line with national development and security priorities.