The Botswana Federation of Trade Unions has learnt with excitement the decision by the Botswana government to, from 24 November 2018, commence the issuance of visa on arrival (at the point of entry) to travellers, especially Africans visiting the country. This move is commendable and timely. On the 20th August 2018, during a meeting we held with the His Excellency Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi we had submitted the same recommendation to the President for consideration.
This decision will go a long way to boost tourism, stimulate the economy through the import of revenue, ideas, innovations, talents and skills, as well as cultural dynamism. The decision goes to show and reinforces Botswana's commitment to the integration of Africa.
BFTU as a member of the African Trade Union Migration Network (ATUMNET) has been championing this cause for an improved integrated Africa under her "Visa Open Africa" campaign. This campaign was developed to achieve the implementation of the July 2015 Johannesburg AU Heads of State Summit declaration on "Migration and Development", which among other laudable positions stated that the Member States shall work towards the realisation of visa on arrival for ALL persons bearing African passports. Botswana by this declaration has met this timeline and we commend this move.
We wish to reiterate that migration is not a problem and that the criminalisation of migration must cease. Rather, we strongly urge the government to continue to work with relevant stakeholders and within national and international laws to advance effective migration governance without infractions to the rights of migrants and members of their families.
Migration when effectively managed has and will continue to deliver benefits to the receiving, transit and sending countries as well as to the migrants.