Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Kenya to abolish visa requirement for all foreign visitors beginning January

Foreign visitors to Kenya will not be required to have a visa beginning January 2024, President William Ruto announced during the celebration of Jamhuri Day, or Independence Day, held in Nairobi, the capital.

Ruto said on Tuesday that all foreign nationals will enter the county without a visa from January next year, a move that is expected to boost tourism, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Beginning January 2024, Kenya will be a visa-free country. It shall no longer be necessary for any person from any corner of the globe to carry the burden of applying for a visa to come to Kenya,” he added.

The Kenyan leader said that to implement the visa-free policy, the government has adopted a digital platform to ensure that all travellers to the country are identified in advance through an electronic platform.

An electronic travel authorisation will be granted to foreign nationals visiting Kenya, Ruto said, adding that a visa-free regime aligns with his administration’s quest to boost the growth of tourism and borderless commerce.

Kenya had earlier waived visa requirements for citizens from Indonesia, Senegal and Congo, anchored on bilateral agreements to enhance the movement of tourists, investors and skilled personnel.

President Ruto has advocated for the abolition of visas for Africans visiting Kenya to realise the continent’s integration agenda since taking over power in September 2022.

Kenya joins Rwanda which in November announced visa-free travel for all Africans.

During his speech at the 60th independence anniversary celebration, Ruto said his administration was committed to renewing key sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, agriculture, health and financial services in line with the people-centered growth model.

In addition, Ruto said Kenya intends to remain a transport and logistics hub to benefit optimally from the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).



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