Kenya, Eritrea abolish visa requirements for citizens


Kenya and Eritrea on Thursday agreed to permanently scrap visa requirements for their citizens.

Speaking during bilateral talks, Presidents William Ruto and Isaias Afwerki explained the move will catalyse the countries’ economic transformation.

“We must have a regime that is free of barriers to further integration, strengthen connectivity and enhance regional trade.”

Through a statement, Ruto said as of the year ending 2020, the trade volume between Kenya and Eritrea stood at Sh73.4 million as compared to Sh257 million in 2015.

Ruto added that the relatively low figures were an indicator that the opportunity in trade is “enormous”

“The two leaders cited renewable energy, water management, agriculture, transport, security, tourism, sports mining, the blue economy and education,” the statement read. 

The two countries agreed that there exists huge trade and investment potential between them that calls for structured collaboration.

Eritrea now joins South Africa which in November 2022, allowed Kenyans to visit the country visa-free for a period of 90 days. 

Ruto said the deal had been arrived at after an intervention by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“From January 1, 2023, we will have a different regime. Kenyans holding ordinary passports will be allowed to enter South Africa on a Visa-free regime for up to 90 days per calendar year,” Ruto said. 



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