Kenya will grant visa-free entry to all African nationals by the end of the year, becoming the fourth nation on the continent to do so.

“It is time we… realize that having visa restrictions amongst ourselves is working against us,” President William Ruto said at a conference in the Republic of the Congo, adding that the move would help facilitate free trade in Africa.

Although the African Union has increasingly called on its members in recent years to make cross-border travel in Asia easier, only Gambia, Benin and the Seychelles had offered visa-free entry to all African citizens prior to Ruto’s announcement. However, African nations have been making gradual progress in simplifying entry regulations, according to Africa’s Visa Openness Index.

And Kenya could potentially offer visa-free entry to more than just citizens of African nations. Minister of Tourism and Wildlife Alfred Mutua said at the ongoing World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit in Rwanda that the country is strongly looking into removing visa requirements for visitors outside of Africa as well.

Nairobi, Kenya
Image of the Nairobi skyline (Flickr: Ninara)