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Southern African countries move to single visa zone

Xinhua - February 26, 2010

The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) opened a ministerial meeting here on Thursday to discuss ways to establish a single visa zone.

The establishment of a single visa for all the member countries is one of the major objectives of the community, according to Raymond Tshibanda, the minister for international and regional cooperation of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).

The goal was also confirmed by SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz A. Salomão.

The two officials said the proposed visa will allow SADC nationals to move freely from one country to another within the region.

They also mentioned other regional objectives including a large free trade zone, a customs union and a single currency.

Tshibanda said SADC has immensely contributed to the five pillars of reconstruction of DR Congo through landmark projects, such as the Unga 3 dam, whose feasibility study was done by the bloc and the European Union.

The SADC has a population estimated at more than 250 million people.

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