Kenya's Visa-Free Entry Decision Sparks Controversy

Kenya’s Visa-Free Entry Decision Sparks Controversy

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Kenya’s recent announcement of visa-free entry for all foreigners has triggered controversy and criticism for being perceived as “hectic.” President William Ruto introduced the policy last month with the aim of promoting visa-free travel within Africa. However, the Kenyan authorities clarified that, despite the visa-free entry, visitors are required to obtain electronic travel authorization (ETA) by submitting documents and paying a $30 (£23) processing fee.

This new requirement applies to citizens of countries that previously enjoyed unrestricted access to Kenya. Over the weekend, authorities reported receiving more than 9,000 visa applications through the digital platform.

Foreigners are expressing dissatisfaction, arguing that the new policy has caused confusion and increased the difficulty and cost of traveling to Kenya. Prominent Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono criticized Kenya, stating, “Dear Africans, Kenya is not telling the truth when it says it is visa-free; it has made traveling more difficult for Africans who didn’t need a visa before.”

Similar sentiments were shared by Malawian entrepreneur Jones Ntaukira, who said, “Until 24 hours ago, as a Malawian, I could just wake up, buy a ticket and fly to Kenya in the afternoon, visa-free. Now, Kenya has ‘removed visa’ for everyone, but everyone has to pay a $30 travel authorization fee 72 hours before travel. What? Hectic.”

Concerns are also being raised by some Kenyans, fearing that these stricter restrictions might lead to a boycott by some foreigners or reciprocal restrictions from other countries.

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