Free travel as Kenya and Eritrea abolish visa for their citizens

There will be free movement of citizens after Kenya and Eritrea agreed to permanently scrap visa requirements.

The move is expected to catalyse economic transformations of both countries.

The announcement was made on Thursday at State House, Nairobi, when President Ruto held bilateral talks with his Eritrean counterpart, Isaias Afwerki.

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

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

They cited renewable energy, water management, agriculture, transport, security, tourism, sports mining, the blue economy and education.

As at 2020, the trade volume between Kenya and Eritrea stood at Sh73.4 million as compared with Sh257 million in 2015.

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

“With the operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, we must cooperate in mapping out mutually beneficial strands of economic opportunities for our countries.”

He hailed Eritrea’s commitment to peace and stability in the region.

This, President Ruto noted, has paved the way for cooperation for regional peace and development.

President Afwerki said Eritrea was committed to taking measures that facilitate the deepening of economic, social and cultural relations with Kenya.

“We will keep promoting joint investment and work together towards enhancing sustainable peace and security,” he said during their joint media briefing.

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