Kenya’s recent decision to offer visa-free entry to all foreigners has stirred controversy, with critics calling it “hectic.” President William Ruto introduced the policy last month to promote visa-free travel within Africa.
However, the Kenyan authorities clarified that despite the visa-free entry, visitors must obtain electronic travel authorization (ETA) by submitting documents and paying a $30 (£23) processing fee.
This requirement now applies even to citizens of countries that previously enjoyed unrestricted access to Kenya. At the weekend, more than 9,000 visa applications have been received through the digital platform, according to authorities.
Foreigners are expressing dissatisfaction, claiming the new policy has caused confusion and increased the difficulty and cost of travelling 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 travelling more difficult for Africans who didn’t need a visa before.”
Malawian entrepreneur Jones Ntaukira shared similar sentiments, saying, “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.
Source: The Punch