Take advantage of visa waiver - South African Deputy High Commissioner to Ghana
The South African High Commission in Ghana has urged businesses in both countries to take advantage of the new visa waiver agreement to explore more business opportunities in each other’s country.
That should help boost trade and strengthen the economic ties of the two nations.
It added that the new agreement must also help boost tourism and draw critical skills to both countries.
The South African Deputy High Commissioner to Ghana, Thando Dalamba, said this at a ceremony to officially launch the South Africa-Ghana Visa waiver in Accra last Friday.
The event, which brought together journalists and other content creators, celebrities and business owners in the hospitality industry, was jointly organised by the High Commission and the South African Tourism Initiative.
Visa waiver agreement
The governments of Ghana and South Africa about a week ago announced a visa waiver agreement to allow citizens of both countries to travel visa-free.
The agreement, which took effect on Wednesday, November 1, this year, will allow travellers from both countries to transit through, depart from, and stay in the territory of the other country for a cumulative period of up to 90 days without a visa within a year, as long as they are not working.
“This is a significant development for both countries, as it will make it easier and more affordable for people to travel and do business between them,” Mr Dalamba said.
“This agreement will improve tourism and also promote cultural activities between our two friendly countries, it will also be beneficial to the business communities in both countries and finally, it will help South Africa to realise the target of having 11 million tourists by 2030,” he added.
He disclosed that the high commission was aware of the frustrations people went through regarding the internal process of adjudicating and evaluating each applicant.
Although that was a requirement which was in line with the South African immigration laws, Mr Dalamba admitted that the process could be frustrating sometimes.
Participants during the launch in Accra
“There have been instances where Ghanaian citizens were frustrated with the process of acquiring a South African visa to the extent that they said the High Commissioner wanted to prevent them from visiting SA, but the truth is that there were always so many visa applications to process and that was what causes the delay,” he explained.
Under this new agreement, Mr Dalamba gave an assurance that there would be no documentation hassles and time-wasting at the High Commission in a bid to acquire visas.
Visit South Africa
The South African Tourism Regional Head for West Africa, Thekiso Rakolojane, said the beauty of tourism was that it helped to build relationship and also connected people to explore other cultures, history, fashion, food and many more.
He urged the South African community to influence a lot of Ghanaians to go and explore the beauty of South Africa.
“Now that we have removed that barrier, we must work hard in all our messaging and campaign to make sure people make South Africa their preferred destination.
“We have nice provinces and 57 million individuals who are very welcoming and waiting to receive you,” Mr Rakolojane said.
He also encouraged the Ghanaian media to tell good stories about South Africa and promote all the positive things from the country.