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Requirements for Nigerians in Diaspora Travelling Home On Foreign Passports

Nigerians who wish to go home to Nigeria using another country’s passport are charged the same fee that is charged to all foreigners applying for a travel Visa to Nigeria.

They are also required to submit to biometric data enrollment as is the case for all foreign visa applicants – just as other countries ask Nigerians who wish to travel abroad to go through biometric visa enrollment.

This is also based on the fact that a significant number of Nigerians in diaspora are dual citizens – they are citizens of the country where they reside while retaining their Nigerian citizenship also.

It is very important to note that any Nigerian who resides abroad who wishes to come home can obtain or renew a Nigerian passport at the same relative price as that paid by Nigerians in Nigeria. But if the Nigerian residing abroad chooses to use their foreign passport to travel to Nigeria, they must then obtain a visa just like every other holder of a foreign passport wishing to travel to Nigeria.

This is not unique to Nigeria. This is the same rule that applies with every country that allows its citizens to have dual citizenship.

This response is aimed at providing a proper background into the recently introduced Nigerian biometric visa issuance in order to clear some misconceptions such as that which alleges that it is an exploitative policy targeted at Nigerians in diaspora wishing to “come home” for a visit.

It is imperative to highlight the need for the introduction of biometric processes in the visa issuance process as a means of addressing contemporary migration issues and challenges. Foremost in this regard, is the issue of security within the context of international terrorism as well as internal insurgency problems.

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From The Hippo’s Ears: Botswana

Contributions by Mohumi Maswabi.

Botswana, (officially the Republic of Botswana (Setswana: Lefatshe la Botswana), a landlocked country located in Southern Africa, has a landscape defined by the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta, which becomes a lush animal habitat during the seasonal floods.

The massive Central Kalahari Game Reserve, with its fossilized river valleys and undulating grasslands, is home to numerous animals including giraffes, cheetahs, hyenas and wild dogs. The citizens refer to themselves as Batswana (singular: Motswana). Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966.

Since then, it has maintained a strong tradition of stable representative democracy, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the best perceived corruption ranking in Africa for the last four years.

Facts you may not have known about Botswana:

1. When you first meet someone, how do you greet them?
When meeting, a standard greeting in English is: “Hello, how are you?” A typical Botswana greeting involves saying “dumela” and shaking hands.

2. What languages are spoken in your country?
In Botswana the official languages are Setswana and English.

3. Do you use a twelve hour clock, or a twenty-four hour clock?
Both are used, but professionally we use the twenty-four hour clock.

4. What side of the road do people drive on? What do we need to know about driving in Botswana?
Botswanans drive on the left and pass on the right. Traffic in Botswana is not a major issue, but locals are known to take their time on the road.

5. How important is punctuality?
Punctuality is important but it’s not uncommon for locals to practice ‘African time’, being slightly late.

6. Which types of music are popular? Who are some of your most popular musicians?
In Botswana South African music and American pop music are common. DSTV plays a lot of the popular international music.

Botswana has a strong hip hop scene, and has aired a national hip hop radio show, Strictly Hip Hop, to promote the genre. Motswako, a genre of hip hop, originated in Botswana in the 1990s, and is also popular in South Africa.
Folk music is also popular in Botswana. Tswana music is primarily vocal, performed without drums and makes extensive use of string instruments, particularly the guitar. In the absence of drums, a clapping rhythm is used in music with a typical call-and-response vocal style. Culture Spears is a Tswana traditional Music group comprising 5 young artists who sing in the Setswana language: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mdegk9V4bwA.

7. Are there any Traditional Dances?
The common dance styles in Botswana include borankana, phathisi, setapa, tsutsube, ndazola, Kalanga hosana, and chesa. Among other things, dance is used for storytelling. The Kuru Dance Festival takes place every two years in August, lasting up to three days.
Dikakapa is a traditional dance group formed in 2006, drawing inspiration from artists such as Seragantswana, Scar,Vee, Gong Master, and Extra Musica. Here is a music video of theirs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBNTay8kkw8.

8. What traditional Festivals are celebrated in your community?
Independence Day, commonly called Boipuso, is a national holiday observed in Botswana on September 30 of every year. The date celebrates Botswana’s Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on September 30, 1966.
Taking place in May, Letlhafula is an annual food festival, held to celebrate the harvest.
Founded in 2004, and taking place in March, Son of the Soil is an annual, themed, cultural festival that involves song, dance, food, and dress.

9. What are your seasons like?
The whole country has hot summers. The rainy season is short. The dry season lasts from April to October in the south and to November in the north. The south of the country is most exposed to cold winds during the winter period.

10. Tell us an interesting fact about your President?
Ian Khama is the eldest son of Botswana’s first president, Botswana-born Sir Seretse and Lady Ruth Khama, who was born in London, U.K. He was born in Chertsey, Surrey during the period in which his father was exiled to the United Kingdom due to the opposition by the colonial government and the emergent apartheid regime in South Africa to his marriage to a white woman.
He is a qualified pilot, and attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, where the British Army trains its officers.

Ian Khama is a member of the Board of Directors of the US-based organization Conservation International, which is also active in Botswana. Its goal is to protect nature as a source of food, fresh water, livelihoods and a stable climate.

11. What are Botswana’s major industries?
Botswana’s economy has been built on a foundation of diamond mining, prudent fiscal policies, international financial and technical assistance, and a cautious foreign policy. Its largest product export is diamonds, at 62% of overall exports, followed by nickel, copper, and gold. Outside the mining industry, Botswana also has a highly successful tourism industry, which accounts for almost 12% of the country’s GDP, and revolves around Botswana’s unique ecosystem, providing tourists with the opportunity to view a wide variety of animals including giraffes, rhino, buffalo, and one of the largest herds of free-ranging elephants in the world.

12. How do people spend their free time?
Many people spend their time socializing, shopping, and travelling around Botswana when they have free time. Excellent holidays can be had at the Chobe National Park, which provides great scenery, and wildlife viewing opportunities. Residents of Gaborone may climb to the top of Kgale Hill for an aerial view of the city, or spend some time at the Botswana Botanical Garden or the local Yacht Club.

13. What do people drink?
Alcohol: beer, spirits, wine. There are various traditionally produced alcoholic drinks. Bojalwa ja Setswana (the beer of Batswana) is brewed from fermented sorghum seeds. Other tribes, like Bakalanga, use lebelebele (millet). A commercially produced and packaged beer, Chibuku, brewed from either maize or sorghum, is a favourite drink particularly in the villages and towns.
Milk is fermented to make madila (sour milk), which is eaten on its own or added to porridge.
A favorite non-alcoholic homemade drink is ginger beer.

14. What is a popular local dish?
Mealie meal and red meat. Popular foods in remote areas include the morama bean, a huge underground tuber, and an edible fungus.

15. What do you pay for? (1 USD = approx. 10 BWP)
A cup of coffee: P23
A Coca Cola: P7
A 2-course meal for 2 people: P250
A loaf of bread: P9
A bottle of milk: P13

16. General Safety?
Botswana is generally a safe country. People should, as a general precaution, be aware of their surroundings, especially when walking around at night. Visitors should take care when walking with handbags and using cell phones while walking around. If possible, walk with someone else, rather than alone.

17. And in conclusion…
Famous (and sometimes infamous…) people from Botswana include:
Ian Khama, the current President. Khama has been the President of Botswana since 2008. After serving as Commander of the Botswana Defence Force, he entered politics and served as Vice-President of Botswana from 1998 to 2008, then succeeded Festus Mogae as President on 1 April 2008. He won a full term in the 2009 election, and was re-elected in October 2014.

Amantle Montsho, a female sprinter who specializes in 400 meter races. She represented her country at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, reaching the final at the latter edition. She has also competed at the World Championships in Athletics and the IAAF World Indoor Championships, and is the former World Champion over the 400m, winning in a personal best time of 49.56 in Daegu.

Duma Boko, a lawyer and politician, who is currently the leader of the opposition in Botswana, at the helm of the Umbrella for Democratic Change. The UDC has 17 seats in the 63 seat National Assembly. Boko was born in Mahalapye, a rural town in Botswana, and relocated to Gaborone in 1987 for his law studies at University of Botswana, after which he continued to study at Harvard. When the Botswana National Front split in 2000, Boko became the leader of the newly-formed National Democratic Front. He went on to establish the UDC in 2012.

Africa: Visa-Free Africa By 2018 – Where Does Rwanda Lie?

In 2013, the African Union adopted Agenda 63, as a blueprint to propel the continent to prosperity within the next 50 years.

As part of the agenda, African countries committed to abolishing visa requirements for all African citizens travelling within the continent by 2018.

According to the second Africa Visa Openness Index, released mid this year, 75 per cent of the countries in the top 20 most visa-open countries are in either Eastern or West Africa, while 20 per cent are in Southern Africa.

Only one country in the top 20 most open to visas is in North Africa (Mauritania), while no countries in Central Africa appear in the top 20.

On January 1, 2013, Rwanda eased visa requirements for African nationals.

All holders of African passports travelling to or transiting through the country are issued an entry visa upon arrival at any Rwandan entry point. And, some countries do not require visas at all.

For Rwandans, however, of the 53 African countries, only 29 allow holders of the Rwandan passport to enter without a visa or issue it on arrival.

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South Africa ‘working on scrapping visa for all African citizens’

South Africa is working towards allowing all African citizens to enter the country without visas – but at first “trusted travellers” like diplomats, officials, academics, business people and students will be the only ones to benefit.

The Department of Home Affairs has outlined its steps towards scrapping visa requirements in its latest White Paper on International Migration, which was adopted by cabinet six weeks ago but has not yet been made public.

The African Union’s Agenda 2063, championed by former AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, calls for the scrapping of visa requirements for all African citizens travelling on the continent by 2018 based on the views of the African Renaissance.

The African passport was launched with great ceremony by Dlamini-Zuma and Rwandan President Paul Kagame at last year’s AU summit in Kigali.

According to the White Paper, South Africa “fully supports the vision of an Africa where its citizens can move more freely across national borders, where intra-Africa trade is encouraged and there is greater integration and development of the African continent”.

It said the current status was untenable. “For instance, on average Africans need visas to travel to 55% of other African countries. They can get visas on arrival in only 25% of other countries. Finally, they do not need a visa to travel to just 20% of other countries on the continent.”

Security-based approach

But the White Paper, which moves South Africa’s approach to immigration from a purely administrative one to a security-based approach, warns that the scrapping of visas needs to happen with caution.

South Africa’s risk-based approach “advocates for an incremental removal of migration formalities for frequent and trusted travellers including diplomats, officials, academics, business persons, students, etc.”

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About our team: Rene Stegmann, Director, MBA, MIM, GMS

Thesis on Hurdles and Costs Relating to Expats in Africa (2000); qualified as a Global Mobility Specialist (GMS).Rene-Stegman-Profile15

Rene has been running Relocation Africa since and has delivered a diverse portfolio of programs and services regarding migration to the African continent. Relocation Africa’s services now include Research (surveys) and International Payroll/payment management services for African countries. Rene also provides HR consultation services to Corporates investing into Africa. As a SARA member, Rene contributes to the local remuneration industry as well as infusing the ERC with some African exposure.  Relocation Africa is a proud member of TIRA and she was elected Vice President of the association (2016).  Her company holds many prestigious awards and Rene was recognized for her valuable contribution to the MI Group’s Worldwide Partner Network International Advisory Council (2014/’15).  Rene and her family live in Cape Town where she and her husband, Andrew, work together.   Her undying love for what she does can be seen in every aspect of how Relocation Africa conducts business.