Foreign visitors to Kenya will not be required to have a visa beginning January 2024, President William Ruto announced on Tuesday during the celebration of Jamhuri Day, or Independence Day, held in Nairobi, the capital.
Ruto said all foreign nationals will enter the county without a visa from January next year, a move that is expected to boost tourism.
“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,” Ruto said.
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 authorization 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-centred 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). -IOL
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