• Wednesday, November 29, 2023
businessday logo


Nigerians to benefit as Kenya mulls visa-free travel for Africans

Lessons for Nigeria on Delta, Kenya Airways’ travel partnership

Nigerians connecting flights to various countries and flying to Kenya would be benefiting from Kenya’s proposed policy on granting all African visitors access without visas.

This development is coming at a time when some countries have suspended visa on arrival for Nigerians, making them face difficulties travelling from Nigeria.

William Ruto, Kenya’s president announced that the country will be ending visa requirements to all African visitors by the end of the year, reports said.

“It is time we realise that having visa restrictions amongst ourselves is working against us,” he told an international conference.

Read also: Amazon Web Services to open development centre in Kenya

Visa-free travel within the continent has been a goal of the African Union (AU) for the past decade.

While there are regional deals and bilateral arrangements, progress towards no restrictions has been slow, BBC reports stated.

Only Seychelles, The Gambia and Benin offer entry to all African citizens without a visa, according to a 2022 AU-backed report.

BBC explains that according to Africa’s Visa Openness Index – which measures the extent to which each country in Africa is open to visitors from other African countries – most countries are making progress towards simplifying entry processes and dropping restrictions to some other nations.

In 2022, Kenya was ranked 31st on the index out of 54 states.

President Ruto told an audience in Congo-Brazzaville that it was bad for business.

“When people cannot travel, businesspeople cannot travel, entrepreneurs cannot travel, we all become net losers.

Read also:Kenya beats Nigeria to auto-disable syringe production

“Let me say this: As Kenya, by the end of this year, no African will be required to have a visa to come to Kenya,” he said to loud cheers from the conference delegates.

“Our children form this continent should not be locked in borders in Europe and also be locked in borders in Africa.”

He was speaking at a summit aimed at protecting some of the world’s largest rainforests.

The AU launched its African passport in 2016. The idea behind the passport is for all African citizens to be able to travel throughout the continent without visas – but it is still not widely available.