“It is time we…realise that having visa restrictions amongst ourselves is working against us,” Kenyan President William Ruto says

President William Ruto of Kenya has stated that Kenya will soon end visa requirements to all Africans visiting the country by the end of the year.

Speaking at a forum on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Nairobi he said “It is time we… realise that having visa restrictions amongst ourselves is working against us.”

The declaration represented a further development of Kenya’s strategy for African integration, which gathered steam under the administration of the country’s most recent president, Uhuru Kenyatta.

“For my fellow Africans, the free movement of people on our continent has always been a cornerstone of Pan-African brotherhood and fraternity. The freer we are to travel and live with one another, the more integrated and appreciative of our diversity we will become,” said Kenyatta on November 27, 2017.

So far, according to a 2022 AU-backed report, only Seychelles, The Gambia and Benin offer entry to all African citizens without a visa.

Visa-free travel within the African continent has been a primary target of the African Union (AU) for the past decade.

“When people cannot travel, business people cannot travel, entrepreneurs cannot travel, we all become net losers, President Ruto added.

In case lifting all visa restrictions is deemed excessive at this time, several alternative actions are suggested by the Visa Openness Index report. These include cutting costs, requiring an electronic visa upon arrival for travellers from Africa, and putting in place a safe e-visa system.

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