Kenya to Scrap Visas for African Visitors By Year-End

Kenya’s President William Ruto delivers his opening remarks during the Africa Climate Summit 2023 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi on September 4, 2023. (Photo by SIMON MAINA / AFP)

Kenyan President William Ruto has stated that all African travelers will be exempt from visa restrictions by the end of this year.

President Ruto, speaking at an international conference, underlined the importance of eliminating visa restrictions among African states, claiming that such restrictions are futile.

The African Union (AU) has long advocated for visa-free travel inside the continent. Although regional and bilateral agreements have been reached, progress toward entirely open travel has been difficult.

According to an AU-backed assessment, as of 2022, only the Seychelles, The Gambia, and Benin allow all African residents to enter without a visa.

However, according to the Africa’s Visa Openness Index, which rates African countries’ accessibility to visitors from other African countries, several countries have made gains in simplifying entry procedures and removing limitations for certain nationalities. Kenya was placed 31st out of 54 African countries in this rating in 2022.

In a speech in Congo-Brazzaville, President Ruto emphasized the negative impact of visa restrictions on enterprises, entrepreneurs, and travelers. He stated Kenya’s intention to change this, saying, “As Kenya, by the end of this year, no African will be required to have a visa to come to Kenya.” Attendees at the conference reacted enthusiastically to this announcement.

President Ruto underlined the need of limiting African youth to their own continent or Europe.

The President made the statement at a gathering aimed at conserving the world’s greatest rainforests.


Written by PH

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