Kenya has joined Rwanda and Ghana on issuing Visa to foreign visitors from across Africa on arrival at various points of entry.
President Uhuru Kenyatta disclosed the visa policy during his swearing-in ceremony at the Moi Safaricom Sports Stadium, Kasarani on Tuesday, saying that the move was in line with his Pan-Africanist vision.
“Today, I am directing that any African wishing to visit Kenya will be eligible to receive a visa at the port of entry. To underscore Kenya’s commitment, this shall not be done on the basis of reciprocity,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta in his Inaugural Speech.
According to President Kenyatta, the move will boost trade and security, increase appreciation for African diversity and reduce divisive politics on the continent.
The President noted that the freer Africans will be to travel and live with one another, the more integrated and appreciative of their diversity, they will become.
“The political balkanization that risks our mutual security, the negative politics of identity, will recede as our brotherhood expands to embrace more Africans,” the President added.
He said, by opening up borders, the continent will appreciate diversity, embrace integration and reduce negative identity politics.
Kenyatta also pledged to scale up efforts toward the East African Community to deliver prosperity.
“To our brothers and sisters in the East African Community, you are our closest friends; our fate and yours are joined at the hip; our troubles and triumphs are yours, and yours are ours. I will work with you, my brothers, the leaders of the East African Community, to bring a renewed energy and optimism to our union,” he said.
Kenya’s new government will also improve integration across the region by making it possible for citizens of all the six EAC member states to work, do business, own property and live in Kenya without requiring a visa.
“As a mark of our continued commitment to the East African Community, from today, you will be treated like Kenyans. Like your Kenyan brothers and sisters, you will need only your identity card. You can now work, do business, own property, farm and if you wish, and find a willing partner, you can marry and settle in Kenya. And this commitment we make with no conditions for reciprocity but driven by our desire for deeper regional integration,” said Kenyatta in his speech.
Early this month, Rwanda announced a new visa regime that will allow visitors from across the world to be issued a 30-day visa on arrival in Kigali, beginning January 1, 2018, where by Ghana, on the other hand, was the first county to roll out the policy in 2016.