Djibouti(Mogadishu24)-The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is taking crucial steps to establish a single visa system for its member states.

In a Single Visa Consultative Meeting held at the IGAD Headquarters in Djibouti on Monday, entrepreneurs, students, researchers, professionals, and leaders representing the member states gathered to discuss the potential realization of this innovative initiative.

Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, emphasized the primary aim of this meeting and stated that this move will allow citizens of IGAD members to enjoy seamless movements.

He noted that the single visa system will promote free movement and transhumance, creating a harmonized system that facilitates smoother cross-border interactions and contributes to making the region better connected and more unified.

“At the inauguration of the IGAD Single Visa Consultative Meeting at our HQ, I invited participants to imagine a region where entrepreneurs, students, researchers, and tourists enjoy a seamless movement regime that will catalyse transformative benefits towards an interconnected and prosperous IGAD region, as already indicated in the IGAD Protocols of Free Movement and Transhumance,” said Dr. Gebeyehu.

Ms. Fathia Alwan, Director for Health and Social Development at IGAD, underscored that this single visa program will ease travel for a wide range of individuals and strengthen economic relations across IGAD member states.

“This single visa program is an important initiative that promises to promote regional movement, ease travel for citizens and tourists of the member states, and foster economic and intellectual exchange across the region,” Ms. Fathia said.

She reiterated IGAD’s efforts towards realizing this single visa system to enhance immediate collaboration among its members.

“We aim for the realization of this initiative, which aligns with IGAD’s commitment to enhanced collaboration and connectivity among its diverse membership,” she added.

Once implemented, this program will benefit the IGAD member states, namely Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, and Sudan.

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