Zambian Government and COMESA Host the 3rd Peer-To-Peer Meeting Exchange on Visas
Zambia - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) supported the Zambian Government and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to Host the Third African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Migration Peer-to-Peer Exchange on Visas.
Held at Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka from 22nd to 24th May, the meeting explored the theme “Good governance of mobility” and aimed to contribute to knowledge development within the ACP region. The three-day meeting sought to build on the previous work done under the framework of the ACP-EU Migration Action, with a specific focus on the subject of visas within the broader context of promoting orderly and safe migration under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The meeting was attended by high-level technical experts from the ACP and EU countries with knowledge of visas as well as related stakeholders.
“With more than one billion people on the move today, more than at any time in recorded history, migration management has moved to the forefront of many states’ agendas”, said Annie Lane, IOM Zambia Chief of Mission. Ms. Lane highlighted that ensuring migration is completed in a safe and dignified manner poses a significant challenge on many states including those who belong to the ACP-EU group.
The meeting heard that several countries, including Zambia, require that foreign nationals obtain a visa in order to enter the country for reasons pertaining to leisure, education or business. Visas can be an efficient tool for border management but must be managed in such a way that they do not create obstacles to development. The meeting focused on discussing free movement and other paths to enhanced trade, tourism and investment.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Home Affairs Hon. Stephen Kampyongo MP said, “Good governance of mobility creates value for the development of people, increases the competitiveness of the countries concerned and enriches respective societies. Visas form an integral part of any government’s attempt to regulate migration and the meeting presents an opportunity to forge a common way forward on how migration can be regulated without placing impediments on free movement, which is crucial in the context of the global economy.” Hon. Kampyongo further emphasised Zambia’s commitment to simplifying visa procedures for foreign nationals who require visas, but also to relaxing visa requirements for nationals of some countries.
The meeting provided an invaluable opportunity for delegates to share experiences and exchange practical solutions to ensure that visa regimes to not present a barrier to development, but rather maximise its benefits. The meeting will lead into the development of Thematic Publication on Visas and a subsequent Good Practice Publication under the ACP=EU Migration Action, informed by the discussion and its outcomes among peers and experts on the topic.
This P2P meeting was made possible with support from the European Union, IOM and the members of the ACP group as well as the Government of the Republic of Zambia and COMESA, the meetings co-hosts.
For further information, please contact Bertha K. Nguvulu (firstname.lastname@example.org ) in Zambia.