Kenya plans to end visa requirements for all Africans visiting the East African nation by the end of the year, said President William Ruto at the Three Basins Climate Change Conference in Brazzaville, Congo, held from October 26 to 28.
“By the end of this year, no African will be required to have a visa to come to Kenya,” said Ruto in his speech, which was met with resounding applause.
President Ruto underscored the potential benefits of eliminating visa requirements for citizens of African countries, emphasising the positive impact it could have on trade and opportunities.
According to a 2022 report by the African Union (AU) and the African Development Bank on visa openness, only three African nations—Benin, Seychelles, and The Gambia—currently allow African travellers to enter without a visa.
The initiative for a visa-free Africa for all Africans is a fundamental aspect of the AU’s Agenda 2063. However, its implementation has faced challenges and been slow to progress.
The AU introduced the African passport in 2016 with the aim of enabling unrestricted travel for all African citizens within the continent, eliminating the need for visas. However, its widespread availability remains limited, primarily due to concerns related to security, smuggling, and potential impacts on local job markets.