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Botswana looks to woo investors with e-Visa platform

Botswana’s department of immigration and citizenship has launched an online visa application platform it hopes will lure investors into the country.

"It is the government's intention to attract as much foreign direct investment (FDI) as possible and the online Visa application platform will help address this since more people will have easy access," said Anna Mokgethi, the Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs.

According to the Minister, the new visa application system part of the government's mission to increase efficiency, customer satisfaction and Botswana’s footprint in the digitalisation sphere.

The web portal, developed and tested in mid-June 2021, is expected to address challenges with the manual application process and shorten the turnaround time for issuance of visa, which is currently 14 days.

Mokgethi reiterated that the manual application compromised Botswana’s efforts to attract the tourism as well as FDI.

Launched in collaboration with Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), the country’s investment promotion agency, the application process is anticipated to improve Botswana’s global competitiveness.

“E- Visa application system will significantly reduce the turnaround time and improve overall efficiency when it comes to issuance of visas,” said Keletsositse Olebile, CEO of BITC.

Meanwhile South Africa has also announced plans to roll-out e-Visa, though travel restrictions have hampered the country’s plans.

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