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Ruto declares Kenya visa free

Travellers must obtain electronic travel authorisation

President William Ruto at Uhuru Gardens

Kenya has opened its borders by abolishing visa requirements for all foreign nationals.

President William Ruto made the announcement Tuesday when he delivered his national address at this year’s 60th Jamhuri Day national celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi.

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The declaration did not come as a surprise as the President had hinted at the move but to African only, during the Africa Climate Summit held in Nairobi on September 4, 2023.

The new policy however takes effect beginning January 2024 but travelers will be vetted in advance online since it will be mandatory to obtain electronic travel authorisation.

While describing Kenya as the home of humanity, Ruto said “Kenya is the home of humanity, a scientific fact that fills us with pride and underscores our rich heritage”.

“ It is with great pleasure, as President of this extraordinary country, to make a historic announcement of the decision of the Government of Kenya. Beginning January 2024, Kenya will be a visa-free country” he announced.

He reiterated that it is unfair to ask anybody coming home for a visa.

“It shall no longer be necessary for any person from any corner of the globe to carry the burden of applying for a visa to come to Kenya. To echo the call of the Turkana people to the world: “Tobong’u Lorre!” Kenya has a simple message to humanity: Welcome Home! This is why, the Government has abolished the requirement of visas for all our visitors”.

The Kenya Kwanza administration has in recent months entered into visa-free agreements with various African countries and Indonesia.

Ruto maintains that lifting visas was necessary to facilitate free movement and trade.

“Kenyans have shown, time and again, that we are not afraid of the world beyond our borders. We venture abroad fearlessly and warmly welcome our visitors from near and far. This is not by accident” he noted.

“This is not by accident. The scientific historic account of early humanity is told by various archaeological sites in our country. In short, we are the first home of all humanity, and we joyfully embrace our ancestral task of welcoming humanity home” he said in conclusion.

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