President William Ruto of Kenya has announced plans to abolish visa requirements for all African visitors by the end of this year, emphasizing the need to eliminate visa restrictions within the continent.
The African Union (AU) has aimed for visa-free travel across Africa for the past decade, but progress has been slow. As of 2022, only Seychelles, The Gambia, and Benin allowed entry to all African citizens without a visa.
However, the Africa Visa Openness Index shows that most countries are making progress in simplifying entry processes. President Ruto made this announcement during an international conference in Congo-Brazzaville, emphasizing the importance of free travel for business, entrepreneurs, and African citizens.
The AU introduced the African passport in 2016, intended to enable visa-free travel for all African citizens, but it is not widely available due to concerns about security and other factors. If completely removing visa restrictions is challenging, the Visa Openness Index report suggests alternative measures like reducing fees, implementing visa on arrival for African visitors, and introducing a secure e-visa system.