Uganda, DR Congo Agree on Visa-Free Regime
On October 12-14, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Kinshasa hosted the eighth session of the Uganda-DRC Joint Commission, during which the countries discussed bilateral cooperation in various fields, including tourism.
Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) decided to establish a visa-free regime between the states, according to a joint communique, which was signed by the parties on the eighth Uganda-DRC Joint Commission.
"To this end, the two parties agreed to remove entry visa fees on reciprocal bases to facilitate free movement of people," the document read.
During the commission, which took place in Kinshasa on October 12-14, the parties also talked on the military and security cooperation as well as collaboration in public administration, the communique said.
Along with these fields, partnership in trade, infrastructure and industry development, agriculture energy sector, transport and communications was discussed by the two states, according to the document.
The DRC delegation was led by the country's Regional integration Minister Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi, while that of Uganda was headed by the state's first Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs Rebecca Kadaga.
Last December, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni reportedly highlighted the need to establish visa-free travel.
"Crossing in East Africa should be cost-free. You pay for a visa when going to America, or Europe, but a visa to DR Congo?! That is rubbish. If that is the case, I have removed it," he was quoted as saying.
In May, the leader urged officials from both countries to accelerate the process of lifting the restrictions, the media noted.
Previously, high visa fees at border crossings have been reportedly complained about by both Ugandan and Congolese citizens.
Apart from Uganda, DRC announced the establishment of visa-free travel with Kenya in early September.