Kenyan President William Ruto made a significant announcement regarding the removal of visa requirements for all African visitors by the end of the year.
Speaking at an international conference, President Ruto stressed the necessity of eliminating visa restrictions among African nations, citing their counterproductive nature.
The African Union (AU) has long been advocating for the facilitation of visa-free travel within the continent, but progress toward this goal has been slow, despite regional agreements and bilateral arrangements.
As of 2022, only Seychelles, The Gambia, and Benin permit entry to all African citizens without a visa, in accordance with an AU-backed report.
Nonetheless, the Africa’s Visa Openness Index, which measures the accessibility of African countries to visitors from other African nations, reveals that many countries have been taking steps to simplify entry procedures and reduce restrictions for certain nations. In 2022, Kenya was ranked 31st out of 54 African states on this index.
President Ruto, speaking in Congo-Brazzaville, highlighted the adverse impact of visa restrictions on businesses, entrepreneurs, and travelers.
He expressed Kenya’s commitment to change this situation, proclaiming, “As Kenya, by the end of this year, no African will be required to have a visa to come to Kenya.” This announcement was met with enthusiastic applause from conference attendees.
President Ruto emphasized the importance of not confining African youth within the borders of their own continent or Europe.
This announcement came during a summit focused on the conservation of the world’s largest rainforests, further underscoring Kenya’s commitment to promoting easier travel for all Africans within the continent.
This story has been adopted from Africanews.