Ruto calls on African heads of state to end Visas barriers to boost trade

President William Ruto at the US-Africa Summit on ‘The Future of Africa’s Trade and Investment’. PHOTO| COURTESY

NAIROBI - Kenya’s president William Ruto has urged African countries to rethink their visa regimes to boost intra- African trade and position the continent for true transformation.

He termed the Visas requirement by the majority of African governments as a hindrance to the development of intra-African trade and hence should be done away with to facilitate “people-to-people, business-to-business and government-to-government affairs.

“The people who introduced visas to Africa have abandoned them. In Europe today, citizens of the 27 countries in the European Union don’t need visas to travel from one country to the other,” he said.

The Kenya head of state spoke on Thursday when he met President Emerson Mnangagwa’s special envoy, Ambassador Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, at State House Nairobi.

President Ruto said he will hold discussions with his Zimbabwean counterpart on a visa-free regime between the two countries.

He also said they will discuss the need for more flights from Nairobi to Harare and vice versa.

President Ruto said Kenya opposes the continued economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, adding that they are unnecessary.

“At a time of economic difficulty, climate change effects and pandemics sanctions only exacerbate the burden on the citizens of Zimbabwe,” he said.


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