Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Museveni has said Ugandans should get visas on entry in South Africa.
Museveni was reacting to reports that several Ugandan tour operators recently had difficulty getting visas while others were denied entry to attend the Indaba Tourism Fair in Durban last week.
South Africans get visas on entry in the country but Ugandans go through a rigorous physical and online application system.
“I received a goodwill message from President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has taken interest in resolving the unnecessary bureaucracy Ugandans are subjected to when seeking South African visas. Ugandans should get visas on entry in South Africa just as we do with them here,” Museveni said as he received the country’s team from the Indaba Festival in Durban.
Uganda won gold, emerging Best Exhibitor in the category of Southern African Development Community and Africa as a whole at Africa’s Travel Indaba Expo 2019 – the world’s third most important tourism exhibition.
“I congratulate and thank Team Uganda that showcased to the world the exceptional natural resource endowments for tourist attraction in the Pearl of Africa, and won us this recognition in Durban,” Museveni said.
“The true spirit of the people of Uganda and the beauty of our land continue to get deserving recognition across the world, irrespective of the few elements working hard to tarnish our country’s image. The NRM government will not abdicate its responsibility to stop these elements.”
At the closing event in Durban, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country would work to resolve the visa issues many are complaining about. He said South Africa are in the process of radically overhauling their visa dispensation for the rest of the world and introducing a world class e-visa system.
“Firstly we must reduce the onerous and often unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that tourists who want to visit our countries face. This requires of us to streamline our tourist visa regimes,” he said.
“As South Africa, we are committed to working towards the African Union’s goal of visa free travel and a single African air transport market.”
Uganda at Indaba 2019
There were at least 10 Ugandan exhibiting companies including Abacus African Vacations, Asyanut Safari Incentives, Bantu Africa Travel, Gecko Safaris, Parkview Safaris, Speke Uganda Holidays, Uganda Safari Chapter, among others.
The Indaba, which is hosted in Durban annually, provides a platform for African countries to showcase and market themselves as tourist destinations. It is also an opportunity for a dialogue on the collective positioning of “Brand Africa” to attract more tourists and grow the African tourism market.
The Indaba features exhibitions on countries including the Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Kingdom of Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Rwanda and Uganda.
Africa’s Travel Indaba has won the awards for Africa’s best travel and tourism show. This award was presented by the Association of World Travel Awards.