Serrari Group

In a move to strengthen intra-African trade and foster economic integration, President William Ruto of Kenya has announced plans to remove visa requirements for African citizens traveling to Kenya. This initiative, set to take effect by the end of this year, aligns with Kenya’s commitment to realizing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Addressing an audience at the Three Basins Climate Change Conference in Brazzaville, Congo, President Ruto emphasized the need to boost intra-African commerce and reduce customs tariffs across the continent. He underscored how visa restrictions hinder business and entrepreneurial activities, ultimately impeding economic growth. 

President Ruto stated, “Visa restrictions work against us. When people, including business professionals and entrepreneurs, cannot travel, it hampers our collective progress. Therefore, we are taking steps to eliminate these restrictions. As of the end of this year, no African citizen will require a visa to enter Kenya.” In addition to the visa policy change, Kenya is preparing to open embassies in the Congo Republic, Ivory Coast, Morocco, and Eritrea. These diplomatic missions aim to strengthen trade ties and foster economic cooperation with these nations, further promoting the free movement of goods, services, people, and ideas within the continent.

The President’s announcement aligns with the broader goals of the AfCFTA, which officially began operating in January 2021. AfCFTA seeks to unite over one billion people in a $3 trillion economic bloc, making it the largest free trade area since the establishment of the World Trade Organization.

President Ruto’s announcement reflects Kenya’s commitment to regional economic integration and a more seamless flow of trade and investment within the African continent. This development is poised to have a positive impact on trade, investment, and economic cooperation, benefiting not only Kenya but also its African neighbors.

Photo (Twitter)

By: Montel Kamau
Serrari Financial Analyst
30th October, 2023

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