Uhuru announces visa on arrival for all Africans


JKIA's Terminal 1A for international arrivals. FILE PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG

President Uhuru Kenyatta has today announced that any African wishing to visit Kenya will be eligible to receive a visa on arrival.

He made the announcement shortly after he took the oath of office for his second term in office Tuesday.

No reciprocity

Mr Kenyatta said the move, which comes the same month Rwanda issued a similar directive, is in line with his Pan-Africanist vision and will be implemented without a demand for reciprocity from other countries.

“Today, I am directing that any African wishing to visit Kenya will be eligible to receive a visa at the port of entry,” said Mr Kenyatta at the Kasarani Sports Complex in Nairobi.

He added that citizens of countries within the East African Community (EAC) will be treated like Kenyans when they visit the country.

This means that they will only need identity cards to live, work and marry in Kenya, a directive that will also have no conditions.

“For my fellow Africans, the free movement of people on our continent has always been a cornerstone of Pan-African brotherhood and fraternity. The freer we are to travel and live with one another, the more integrated and appreciative of our diversity, we will become,” said the President.

Boost trade

Mr Kenyatta reckons the move will boost trade and security while increasing appreciation for diversity, all of which he said will act as a counter against the political balkanization that risks Africa’s mutual security and the negative politics of identity.

He also said Kenya will continue playing its role in the fight against terrorism while sharing knowledge and supporting its allies.

“We have learned that in the fight against international terrorism, free and democratic nations are allies against a common enemy….As we have for half a century, we will work for peace in our region, for that is what a good neighbour does,” Mr Kenyatta said.

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