HARARE, July 8 (Xinhua) — Zimbabwe has become the first country to exempt all member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) from visa requirements, state-run Herald newspaper reported on Thursday.
SADC is a regional economic community whose goal is to further regional socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 16 countries in southern Africa.
Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava made the remarks in a statement on Wednesday.
“Regarding the implementation of the visa exemption among SADC Member States and the facilitation of free movement of SADC citizens within the region, I wish to highlight that Zimbabwe is the first and only country that has exempted all SADC Member States from visa requirements, other SADC Member States are undertaking internal processes to ensure that SADC citizens can travel freely in the region,” he said in the statement.
African countries are relaxing visa rules for each other to boost trade and tourism facilitated by the historic free trade agreement, AfCFTA, ratified by African Union (AU) member states.
AfCFTA is an African free trade area established in 2018 to create a single continent-wide market for goods and services and to promote the movement of capital and people.