South African and Angolan citizens will be able to visit each other’s countries without having to obtain a visa. The new rule will come into effect from December 1. South Africa and Angola announced a visa-free reciprocal travel arrangement that will allow for visa-free travel for up to 90 days a year.
Each visit should be 30 days or less. The news comes after other African countries reduced their visa restrictions. Namibia recently announced that they would scrap visas for African citizens and countries like Rwanda, Ghana and Nigeria will issue visas on arrival. The Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) also reached a key milestone agreement recently, making travel within the six-member regional block, comprising Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon and Chad, visa free and integration of central Africa a reality.
The free movement of people is the cornerstone of regional integration, according to the African Development Bank.
Oz Desai, Corporate Traveller South Africa General Manager, says business people bring higher levels of investment, fresh skills and expand the range of goods when they can travel more easily across the continent because of liberal visa policies. In the past year, over a third of African countries have more liberal visa policies than they had in 2015, and four countries have even moved up into the top 20 most open visa countries. The African Union’s introduction of a single African passport will be a further step in the right direction. It is certainly becoming easier to travel within Africa, but it should be even easier, maintains Desai.
“The more open the visa regime in Africa, the easier it would be to do business more quickly and affordably – from promoting entrepreneurship, diversifying economies and adding value to services, to attracting investment and even introducing much-needed skills,” he adds.