President William Ruto on Tuesday announced that Kenya will be a visa -free country beginning January next year.
He noted that a digital platform has been developed to ensure that all travellers to Kenya are identified in advance on an electronic platform, adding that all travellers will obtain electronic travel authorization.
“It shall no longer be necessary for any person to from any corner of the globe to carry the burden of applying for a visa to come to Kenya,” said President Ruto.
President Ruto made the remarks at the Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi, when he led the nation in marking 60 years since Kenya became a republic.
President Ruto in his speech enumerated gains that have been made in the last six decades.
He said his administration has taken up the unfinished job of actualising economic prosperity as ‘our contribution’ to perfecting Kenya’s national sovereignity.
“We owe this to those who made huge sacrifices to bestow on us a nation of promise, and we owe it to one another: To the youth, women, children of Kenya and each one of us,” said President Ruto.
President Ruto said the Government’s focus has been firmly about the ways and means of transforming the country’s economy, making the right decisions, necessary sacrifices and smart choices to set Kenya on the path of economic renaissance.
As part of efforts to improve the economy, President Ruto said the Government has subsidized farm inputs including fertilizer and seeds to reduce production, thus reduce cost of living.
He further said 400 fresh produce markets, 47 county aggregation and industrial parks as well as 6 special economic zones are at various stages of implementation to enhance value addition, agro-processing and manufacturing to stimulate economic growth.
“Economic productivity and general well-being are significantly hampered by a population that is prone to ill-health. Individual and family medical expenditure drain household incomes and erode family savings, in many cases leading to financial ruin and destitution,” he said.
He noted that there is every reason to believe that without serious sacrifices and hard work over the past year, the crises, threats and challenges in the global economic and geo-political environment confronting the country would have overwhelmed the nation as, indeed, it has many countries.
“We have had to make our contribution to the struggle for the nation’s economic sovereignty. We have had to cut back significantly on expenditure and to defer the implementation of critical development programmes to stabilise our economy,” he said.
“The policy measures required to mobilise necessary revenues have been difficult, but they were our only way and means of escape,” he added.
The Head of State disclosed that the economic indicators point to good news.
“Inflation is now at 6.8 percent, down from a high of 9.2 percent last year,” he said.
President Ruto noted that in the last 6 months, the country’s GDP has grown at 5.4 percent making Kenya the 29th fastest growing economy in the world, according to the World Bank.
“There is no question about it: What we have done together, the price we have paid together and the sacrifices we have made together have rescued our country from an economic catastrophe,” said President Ruto.
The Head of State argued that the reforms have been made in the health, agriculture, sports, SMES, education and environment among other areas have transformed the lives of Kenyans.
At the same time, President Ruto asked the law, justice, law and order institutions, led by the Judiciary and the anti-corruption agencies, to discharge their mandate without fear, favour, ill-will or prejudice.