The Visa Nightmare: Africa Should Retaliate
Foreign embassies in Africa and other developing countries have found an easy way of making money – because they know no matter how many times they reject applications, people will still re-apply. The current visa system is a fraud and something has to be done about the whole visa application process.
Applying for a UK or USA visa in Africa is in-deed frustrating, time consuming, humiliating and expensive. In Kenya and Ghana for instance, one is supposed to provide so much confidential information such as invitation letters, bank statements, proof of employment, proof of relationship, mortgage payment, medical, marriage certificates etc. It is much complicated for non-Christians especially Muslims of Arab and Somali origin. They are ill-treated, humiliated and asked for diverse confidential information, in fact the only thing they are not asked to submit is blood and urine samples!
We are so dependent on Europe and America that we hesitate retaliating through our embassies abroad for fear of losing donor support and tourism money. To me this is part of the the Western countries’ mischief. I think those visiting developing countries should undergo the same regimes of visa application. Africans have found it expensive to finance and sustain foreign missions while foreign embassies in our continent display much opulence derived mainly from the fraudulent devices they have set in the black continent. They use Africa’s money to finance their embassies in developing countries.
Governments in developing countries should not remain unconcerned when their citizens are fleeced by foreigners right under the noses of their governments in their capital cities.
Our governments should use all available means of expressing discontent and disaffection with this kind of western visa fraud. They should institute the same visa regime for Europeans, Americans and related countries. The Libya government, for instance, in payback to the humiliation of its citizens at foreign embassies decided that in the same measure, foreigners residing in Libya could no longer renew their papers in Libya. They equally had to return to their own countries to renew their stay in Libya. If all African embassies did the same for people applying for visas, the outrage would lead to a change in attitude towards developing countries. Why not use the African Union (AU) and even UN forums to highlight such an issue?
It is laughable that some African countries like South Africa which were baby-sat by Africans are quickly assuming these frustrating and humiliating UK, America – like visa policies. Does it ever cross the minds of these people that in the past Africans and others were forced over into their countries as slaves? Now that the slaves built and developed the foreign countries, today when they want to visit these countries they are ill treated and criminalized. It is ironical that we talk of the world becoming a global village, yet people from Developing countries are not free to travel around this village!
I accept the logic, for purposes of territorial security and order; states can humanely impose screening and restrictions as is the case of visas. However, if embassies are really genuine in their desire to process visa applications then it should not be made a process whose end is money. I think it is fraud to take somebody’s money for a service you refuse to give. Imagine the number of people who troop to embassies every day? Most applications are however, rejected but the fee is not refunded.
The logical proposition is that people should only pay once their visa opportunities are approved.
And also courtesy and goodwill should be displayed. The body search, demand for numerous confidential information, disgraceful treatment and criminalization of human beings due to religion, race or color should not be part of visa application screening. After all, we are all members of this world, God’s equal creations; genuinely pursuing personal happiness abound in the world.