14 August 2019 | Leserpost

Open Letter on VISA Requirements

In view of President Hage Geingob's proposals at the Economic Growth Summit for a more relaxed visa regime, purportedly to attract more foreign investment, I'd like to suggest that Namibians take a considered pause and interrogate this matter.

President Geingob, amongst others, proposes visas at entry point at a nominal fee. As far as I am concerned this is a Trojan horse because it will attract, and let in, unsavoury and corrupt characters posing as business people into our country. I therefore would like to express my disagreement with the suggestion and state categorically that Namibia MUST NOT issue visas on arrival.

Instead there must be bilateral agreements with countries on an equal exchange benefit for Namibians that visit a particular country to ensure they give us the visa benefits we seem to have on offer for all and sundry. The blanket provision of visas without pre-set criteria is a recipe for disaster.

I would therefore like to suggest the following:

a) The issuing of visas must match populations entering our country. We cannot afford giving visas to countries on arrival with millions of people that outnumber the Namibian population of 2.3 million;

b) We can consider giving visas on arrival to persons from countries with low-density population sizes relative to ours, for example citizens of Botswana, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Finland, to name but a few. Any country over 10 million people should NOT get blanket visas on arrival. Instead, there MUST BE ENTRY and EXIT criteria implemented;

c) We must address the current state of affairs at the German Consulate and the treatment of Namibian citizens applying for Schengen Visas. Their online month-in-advance-appointments are nothing short of promoting Aryan preferential treatment. It is high time we align our intake of densely populated European countries, and brush them with the same comb they use on us, despite the fact that we are not a populous country. Tourists flock here from all over. Theirs ARE NOT the only to fuel our tourism industry, it is merely preferential from the political elite who don't go through the same scrutiny as ordinary law-abiding Namibians.

We are about to go to presidential and national elections, which will hopefully bring about a positive sea change after the country's been ravaged by a woefully corrupt gang of political elites. This country is in serious crisis as a result of their criminality. If we cannot make a complete turnaround, the crisis will only deepen.

Our country may be cash-poor but it is very rich in resources and land, something the Chinese have their eyes on. What the Chinese and the SWAPO political elite must understand, is that these are OUR resources! And it is time we turn our natural resources into riches for ALL NAMIBIANS! We Namibians therefore need to put our foot down and push a hard bargain! It is the only way we will get a good trade-off on our resources we care to share with anybody else.

With the Economic Growth Summit in full swing, we must ask ourselves: Do we need the kind of investment being offered? What is it that such investors want from here? Would that be in OUR BEST interest? What sort of investment will create wealth and prosperity in Namibia for Namibians? If investment from elsewhere does not suit our purposes, we should have the political and moral gumption to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Kim Katiti

Gleiche Nachricht

 

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