Comesa roots for regional visa to bolster commerce, tourism
The proposed instrument will be tabled for adoption in Madagascar summit meetings
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa is pushing for a regional visa to facilitate easy movement of the business community and promote tourism in the wake of renewed efforts by regional markets to integrate.
Comesa has invited the private sector, immigration experts and diplomatic community from its 20 member countries for a two-day business council consultative dialogue from tomorrow at its headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia.
Its main objective is to review and validate the proposed Comesa Business Visa.
Anchored on the theme “facilitating the movement of business persons, trade and regional integration”, the dialogue will enhance deliberations between the private sector and governments on pertinent migration issues to ensure existing policies contribute to increased trade, tourism flows, and business engagement in the region.
“The common visa and multiple entry scheme will be a welcome instrument that will spur business and regional integration,” Comesa Business Council CEO Sandra Uwera said.
The common visa initiative is a follow-up to the recommendations that were presented to the Comesa Council of Ministers by the private sector in 2012, on the need to come up with an interim solution to facilitate the movement of business persons.
The CBC has been working on developing the proposed instruments that can be adopted as a Comesa Business Visa, which will provide for multiple entries for business persons in the region.
The proposed instrument will be tabled for adoption before the Comesa policy organs and summit meetings that will take place in Madagascar between October 10 and 19.
If adopted, the visa scheme could be operational in the next two years. The initiative will add to the East Africa Community’s single tourist visa.
Corporate affairs director for 4Afrika Microsoft Middle East and Africa, Louis Otieno, with Comesa Business Council chief executive Sandra Uwera at the first Comesa ICT Industries Public - Private Dialogue in Nairobi on April 20