Kenya And Eritrea Abolish Visa Requirements For Their Citizens

By Samuel Ouma

Eritrea President Isaias Afwerki. (Left) and his Kenyan counterpart William Ruto in joint press address in Nairobi

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

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 they have massive trade and investment potential that calls for structured collaboration.

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

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

President Ruto said the relatively low figures indicate 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. President Ruto noted this has paved the way for regional peace and development cooperation.

On his part, President Afwerki said Eritrea was committed to taking measures to deepen economic, social and cultural relations with Kenya.

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

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