Grace Jeanet Mason, the South African High Commissioner to Ghana is optimistic the visa-free travel arrangement between Ghana and South Africa will boost trade relations between the two countries. Mason said the initiative which began in July 2019 will become operational after the visit of South African president to Ghana in the third quarter of this year.
Speaking with Nana Yaa Mensah on Asaase Radio’s Sunday Night, Mason said: “This will also strengthen not only our bilateral relations but also in terms of boosting our respective economies because this will ensure travel between the people of South Africa and Ghana.
“And [it will] boost our trade and tourism as well, as you know that South Africa has quite a large footprint in terms of business in Ghana. We’ve got over 200 South African companies that are doing business in Ghana currently.”
She added: “So that will also boost both our economies and trade relation… tourism and agriculture as well so those are the memorandum of understanding and relations that we have both strengthened and pursued and implement between our two nations.”
Available data shows Ghana’s exports to South Africa was US$1.97 billion in 2019.
South Africa in July 2019 added seven countries to its visa-free list. Of the seven, two were African nations – Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe.
Three were from the Gulf region – Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. New Zealand becomes the sole South Pacific nation on the list.
According to authorities, of the 193 countries who are member states of the United Nations, the South African Department of Home Affairs has granted visa-free status to 75 countries.
Of the latest seven, Ghana and Qatar already had visa on arrival arrangements with South Africa which is Africa’s most industrialised nation and an economic giant.
According to the latest Henley Passport Index, South Africans can visit 99 countries around the globe visa-free.