In 2023, Kenya made strides in efforts to open up her borders with other countries for business and scrapping off visa requirements was one of the moves.
Since rising to power in 2022, President William Ruto had been vocal on the importance of ensuring free movement of citizens across borders in the world.
Through his engagements in 2023, some African countries waived visa requirements and thereby allowing Kenyans to travel to the countries with much ease.
Eritrea was among the countries that lifted visa requirements for Kenyan citizens.
Coming after bilateral talks in Nairobi, Presidents William Ruto and President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea announced the breakthrough, noting that it would catalyze the countries’ economic transformation.
In a statement, Ruto said that the two sides anticipated an increase in trade volumes following the waiver allowing free movement of goods and people.
Rwanda Opens Its Boarders
Similarly, Rwanda announced waiver of visa requirements for all Africans.
Speaking in November in Kigali, President Paul Kagame announced the move asserting that any African could get on a plane to Rwanda whenever at their own wish.
According to him, the move was aimed at capitalizing on Africa’s growing tourism market, driven by the continent’s growing middle class.
DRC and Kenya Waives Visa
In addition, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) announced a waiver of the visa requirement for Kenyans traveling to the country.
In a statement in September, the Directorate General of Migration in DRC said the waiver was effected following a directive from the President.
Also Read: Countries Kenyans Can Travel to Without Visa
Likewise, Kenya waived visa requirements for DRC citizens as a member of the East African Community (EAC) to reciprocate the move.
Also, the Chinese Embassy in November removed visa appointments for Kenyans.
According to the embassy, the move was aimed at easing the process for Kenyans seeking travel to China.
“In order to further facilitate the exchange of China and Kenya, the Chinese Embassy in Kenya will completely cancel visa appointments from November 20, 2023,” read part of the statement.
Besides the four countries, Kenya also went proactive in waiving visa requirements for several countries including Angola.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had also in March announced an agreement with Egypt to fast-track the process of removing the barriers for citizens of both countries.
At the time, the then Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Afred Mutua announced that tentative time date for effecting the waiver was October 1.