Namibia has over 140,000 undocumented and stateless people.

The Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, and Safety, Dr. Albert Kawana, revealed this at the celebration of International Identity Day.

Dr. Kawana also launched the online tourist visa application.

International Identity Day is celebrated annually on September 16 and is aimed at raising awareness about the importance of identity in empowering individuals to exercise their rights and responsibilities fairly and equitably in society.

"September 16 provides an opportunity for us to reflect, not only on the state of statelessness in Namibia but, most importantly, on the effectiveness of the various interventions made by my government to reduce statelessness in our country."

Dr. Kawana emphasised that Namibia, like many other countries in the world, is faced with the challenge of statelessness and undocumented persons.

He added that the government is taking steps to reduce statelessness by regularising the status of stateless and undocumented persons through enabling legislation.

"The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security has established offices in all the regions of the country for the issuance of birth certificates and identity documents to ensure that services are closer to the people."

In line with the government policy on e-governance, the Ministry has automated systems and is gradually moving towards digitalization of most of its services, hence the launch of the Tourist Visa Online Application.

"We are also adding a new online service that will enable those wishing to visit Namibia to apply for tourist or holiday visas online from the comfort of their homes, wherever they are in the world."

Dr. Kawana expressed the hope that the Tourist Visa Online Application will create employment opportunities for youth and women.



Ndapewa Ambambi