DR Congo Approves Visa-Free Regime for Kenyans
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional organization made up of seven countries: Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, with the DR Congo joining in May 2022. Some protocols, such as free movement and customs union, are being implemented.
The Democratic Republic of Congo announced the lifting of visa restrictions for Kenyans on Wednesday.
According to local media, a circular released by the country's directorate said Kenya's citizens will no longer be required to get a visa to travel to the DR Congo.
This decision came following a previous statement on September 1, in which it announced a visa-free regime for DR Congo citizens traveling to Kenya.
"The government of Kenya has removed Democratic Republic of Congo from category 2 to category 1 of the visa regulations in compliance with the East Africa Community Regulations of free movement of persons within the member states," the document read. "In this regard, Kenya has waived visa requirements for all nationals of the Democratic Republic of Congo effective September 1, 2023."
Later, the Directorate General of Migration from the DRC
stated that the move was effective from the same day Kenya lifted its visa requirements.
Additionally, Evelyn Cheluget, DR Congo's Immigration Director-General, explained that the decision came following a presidential order. According to Kenyan media, this new policy reflects Kenya's commitment to integrating
the DR Congo into the EAC and helping mobility inside the region.
In May, President of Kenya William Ruto announced that traveling
obstructions must be removed during the African Private Sector Dialogue Conference on Free Trade.
"This is home. We support wholeheartedly the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and we must remove any impediments to the movement of people around our continent," he said at the time.
The East African Community
is an intergovernmental organization consisting of seven countries in the Great Lakes region of East Africa: Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, and the DRC.
joined the community in May last year, although some protocols, such as free movement and customs union, are not yet fully implemented.