Home » Tourism: Africans set to enjoy visa-free travel to Kenya – President William Ruto

Tourism: Africans set to enjoy visa-free travel to Kenya – President William Ruto

by Atqnews23
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Visa-Free

As African Union (AU) continues to push for visa-free travel within the continent, Kenya is to end visa requirements to all African visitors by the end of the year.

According to BBC, this was made known by President William Ruto while addressing an international conference. “It is time we realise that having visa restrictions amongst ourselves is working against us,” he said.

While there are regional deals and bilateral arrangements, progress towards no restrictions has been slow. Only Seychelles, The Gambia and Benin offer entry to all African citizens without a visa, according to a 2022 AU-backed report. But according to Africa’s Visa Openness Index – which measures the extent to which each country in Africa is open to visitors from other African countries – most countries are making progress towards simplifying entry processes and dropping restrictions to some other nations.

READ: Aviation: Kenya and Angola Collaborate to Resume Nairobi-Luanda Direct Flights and Visa-Free Travel, Boosting Bilateral Trade Relations in The Continent

In 2022, Kenya was ranked 31st on the index out of 54 states. President Ruto told an audience in Congo-Brazzaville that it was bad for business. “When people cannot travel, businesspeople cannot travel, entrepreneurs cannot travel, we all become net losers. “Let me say this: As Kenya, by the end of this year, no African will be required to have a visa to come to Kenya,” he said to loud cheers from the conference delegates.

READ: Africa: Kenyan Nationals Lead Eastern African Schengen Visa Applications for 2022, Despite 24% Rejection Rate, with 48,892 Submissions

“Our children form this continent should not be locked in borders in Europe and also be locked in borders in Africa.” He was speaking at a summit aimed at protecting some of the world’s largest rainforests. The AU launched its African passport in 2016. The idea behind the passport is for all African citizens to be able to travel throughout the continent without visas – but it is still not widely available.

This is in part because of concerns about security, smuggling and the impact on the local employment markets. If dropping all visa restrictions is currently a step too far, the Visa Openness Index report recommends a number of other measures. These include lowering fees, making visa on arrival standard for African visitors and implementing a secure e-visa system.

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