Kenya plans to eliminate visa requirements for citizens of all African countries.

Starting next year, visas for visiting Kenya will be eliminated for citizens of other African countries, in an effort to promote increased trade and travel within the continent.

“According to Kenya’s president, William Ruto, at a climate change conference in Congo-Brazzaville, by the end of this year, all Africans will be able to enter Kenya without a visa.”

The expensive and lengthy processes for obtaining visas, along with expensive flights, have historically made it difficult for African passport holders to travel within Africa. More than half of the 54 countries in Africa still require citizens from at least half of the other countries on the continent to obtain a visa.

Ruto stated that it is not fair for our children from this continent to be confined within borders in Europe and also within borders in Africa.

Kenya is set to become the fourth African nation to implement unrestricted travel for Africans, following in the footsteps of the Gambia, Benin, and Seychelles. In 2016, Seychelles, a country located on an island in East Africa and heavily dependent on tourism, was the pioneer in this change.

Ruto emphasized the need to eliminate obstacles in order to effectively implement the African continental free trade area. He stressed the importance of intra-continental trade and the unrestricted movement of goods, services, individuals, and ideas.

The African Union has reinforced its efforts in recent times to urge more African nations to eliminate travel restrictions. In 2016, it introduced an “AU passport” that enables unrestricted travel for Africans within the continent. However, the implementation has been restricted and the passports are primarily utilized by diplomats and top officials.

The nations of Africa have been hesitant to implement changes due to worries about crime and safety. Nevertheless, the majority of countries have been streamlining their entry processes, as stated in the 2022 report on visa accessibility in Africa. Many African countries now allow citizens to travel to at least five other countries without a visa, and there is greater flexibility for travel within regional alliances. Furthermore, the number of countries offering electronic visas has more than doubled since 2016.

The news from Kenya has received a warm response from African internet users, with optimism that other nations will also take similar actions. A social media user expressed, “All leaders in the continent should support this decision. Facilitating movement within the continent should be a top priority.”


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