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Ruto talks up visa-free Kenya for Africans

Kenya is in the final stages of scraping visa requirements for all Africans visiting the country.

President William Ruto has announced that the country will no longer require visas from visiting countries effective January 1, 2024.

The Head of State explained that the move will open up the Kenyan market and allow free movement of people from the continent.

This will in turn open up the African economy, said President Ruto.

The President asked African leaders to consider making the same step, saying the colonialists who ruled and created barriers in Africa have abandoned visa requirements among the European Union members.

“If those who taught us to erect barriers, create hurdles, and have visas have abandoned it, what business do we have continuing having this visa business? That is why by the end of this year, none of you will require a visa to come to Kenya,” President Ruto said.

While addressing the 5th Congress of the International Trade Union Confederation- Africa in Nairobi, the President said the unprecedented free-trade area will deliver its promise of a better future for workers across the continent.

“Emphasize the necessity of free movement throughout our continent and the need to collaborate into transforming Africa under ACFT into a vast territory of opportunity, and to facilitate labour migration to connect knowledge and skills.”

President Ruto gave an example of the European Union which comprises 27 countries with a population of 450 million people,  who travel around without a visa.

Ruto is the second African President to introduce visa-free visits for Africans, after Rwanda’s Paul Kagame.

“We have also removed visa restrictions for every African country, as well as many other countries,” said Kagame in a recent statement.

Kenya has over the past positioned itself as a major tourist destination. The country receives millions of tourists each year, most of whom are keen to sample the wildlife at the animal parks and game reserves as well as the white sunny beaches alongside the Indian Ocean coast.

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