Kenya to be a visa-free country from January 2024 - President Ruto

Kenya to be a visa-free country from January 2024 - President Ruto

President William Ruto during a guard of honour at the 60th Jamhuri Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi on December 12, 2023

President William Ruto on Tuesday announced that his government has decided to abolish visa requirements for all global visitors beginning January 2024.

This he said during the 60th Jamhuri Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi, where he noted that the abolishment lies on the backdrop of embracing globalisation and opening the borders to spur the socio-economic development of the country.

"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," said Ruto.

He further stated that to implement this new policy, a digital platform has been developed to ensure that all travellers to Kenya will be identified in advance on an electronic platform. 

He added that upon identification, the visitor will obtain an electronic travel authorisation.

"To echo the call of the Turkana people to the world: “Tobong’u Lorre!” a simple message to humanity: Welcome Home!"

President Ruto has been championing the realisation of a borderless Africa by advocating for visa-free travel.

Kenya becomes the second country in Africa to open its borders recently. On November 3, 2023, Rwanda announced visa-free travel for all Africans. 

Before waiving visa requirements for all nationa, Kenya had recently lifted visa requirements Indonesia nationals.

Ruto announced that Kenya had lifted visa restrictions on Indonesian passport holders after bilateral talks with the Southeast Asian country’s leader Joko Widodo on August 21.

This made Indonesia join Senegal and Congo as the countries Kenya has visa-free agreements with in recent months. Comoros is also set to ink a similar agreement with Kenya by the end of the year.

His agenda has also been supported by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who said that the move will help free the continent from perennial challenges and foster cross-border development.

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