- One month after scrapping visa requirements for Africans, Kenya has launched a digital platform that eliminates the need for visa applications.
- Starting January 2024, global travellers can obtain an electronic travel authorisation in advance. Kenya’s President, William Ruto, says that the digital platform's implementation will help the country execute its visa-free policy, guaranteeing that each visitor is pre-identified.
- Previously, Kenya had waived visa requirements for Senegalese, Congolese, and Indonesian nationals as part of bilateral agreements to promote traveller, investor, and skilled personnel movement.
This move will simplify the visa application process for travellers and support the nation's efforts to develop its socioeconomic sector and participate in globalisation.
Ruto has long advocated for the continent of Africa to be visa-free. In October 2023, he announced that African nationals would no longer need a visa to visit Kenya by the end of the year.
One of the main areas of economic growth in recent years has been the evolution of digital technology. The World Economic Forum identified that the digital transformation of the African economy, from education, healthcare, agriculture, and telecommunications, will require innovative solutions and inclusive strategies.
A component of these remedies involves the recent announcement by the Kenyan government to waive visa requirements, joining the ranks of other African nations such as the Seychelles, Gambia, Benin, and Rwanda.
These advancements will also spur the entry of tech experts, financiers, and business owners from several backgrounds, resulting in increased startup growth and new business prospects.
This development shows that it wants to attract foreign investment, but until it establishes the required infrastructure, it might not produce the desired results. Sadly, there is still more work to be done in this area in many African nations.
For context, a power outage struck Kenya on Sunday, December 10, 2023, paralysing large parts of the country. According to Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir, the government is considering load-shedding, or scheduled power outages, to keep the power transmission network from overloading.
The continent needs to ensure proper spending, improved electricity and water infrastructure, and security arrangements. Africa will also have to make progressive financial policies to enhance the activities of fintech engaging in cross-border payment.