Nairobi, Kenya – In a significant move to promote intra-Africa trade, President William Ruto of Kenya has announced plans to eliminate visa requirements for African nationals traveling to Kenya for business purposes. The decision was unveiled during a forum focused on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) held in Nairobi, where President Ruto addressed public and private sector leaders.
Expressing his regret, President Ruto apologized to the attendees for the visa requirements and assured them that this would be the last time they would face such barriers. He explained that the Trade Minister, Moses Kuria, had informed him of the issue and requested him to apologize on behalf of the government.
During his address, President Ruto emphasized the importance of unity among African nations and their commitment to the AfCFTA. He stressed that Kenya fully supports the free trade agreement and aims to eliminate any hindrances to the movement of people within the continent.
“This might be the last time you are looking for a visa to come to Kenya because of two reasons. Number one, because this is home, and number two, we support wholeheartedly the AfCFTA. We must remove any impediments to the movement of people around our continent,” President Ruto stated.
The decision to waive visa fees for African traders aligns with Kenya’s longstanding policy to promote integration within Africa. The country’s efforts in this direction gained momentum during the tenure of former President Uhuru Kenyatta. Kenya, as a member country of the AfCFTA, recognizes the significance of fostering economic collaboration and trade among African nations.
The move by Kenya is expected to have a positive impact on the growth of intra-Africa trade and encourage greater economic cooperation among African nations. By removing visa requirements, Kenya aims to facilitate the movement of business travelers, enhance networking opportunities, and strengthen economic ties across the continent.
The announcement made by President Ruto has been widely praised by leaders and stakeholders within Africa. It is anticipated that other countries will follow suit, further bolstering the goals of the AfCFTA and contributing to the realization of a more interconnected and prosperous Africa.
The Kenyan government will work towards implementing this visa policy change, streamlining processes, and ensuring smooth entry for African traders. With this step, Kenya aims to reaffirm its commitment to the principles of the AfCFTA and lead by example in promoting continental integration and trade facilitation.
#UnitedUnderAfCFTA, Kenya continues to actively support the aspirations of the AfCFTA and works toward the shared vision of a prosperous, united, and economically integrated Africa.