The Malawian government has lifted the visa requirement for travelers from China, the United States, and the United Kingdom (UK), among several other countries, to boost tourism, one of the country’s key foreign exchange-earners.
The development follows the amendment of a section in the country’s Immigration Act to aid the entry of international visitors into the southern African country.
Malawian Minister of Homeland Security Ken Zikhale Ng’oma signed the amendment of the Immigration Act, which was gazetted Wednesday, listing 47 countries across the globe exempted from visa restriction in Malawi.
Germany, France, and Russia are also among the exempted countries outside Africa, while Ghana and Gambia are among the exempted African countries.
Additionally, nationals from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and nationals from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), except those countries that subject Malawians to a visa requirement, are exempted from visa requirements.
Holders of Laissez-Passer for any of the following — SADC, COMESA, United Nations, African Union, African Development Bank, all diplomats and government officials on official business — are also exempted under the amendment.
The validity of multiple entry visas in Malawi, which is six months and 12 months, shall reciprocate to the validity of multiple entry visas in the corresponding country, according to the gazetted amendment.
Meanwhile, the corporate sector in the country has commended the move, saying, “It will make Malawi an attractive tourism destination while boosting foreign currency flows in the long term.”
Minister of Tourism Vera Kamtukule told the local media that the amendment of the Immigration Act augers well with the country’s three priority areas, namely agriculture, tourism, and mining (ATM), in implementing the MW (Malawi) 2063 Agenda, which aims to turn the country into a self-reliant nation, with more exports than imports.