Kenya among other African countries who are members of the African Union and Commonwealth will soon be exempted from paying the visa fee when entering Rwanda as announced by President Paul Kagame while attending the maiden United Kingdom – Africa summit in London.
“The Commonwealth is a community of values, with continued relevance for today’s world. More than one-third of its member states are African. These are the reasons why Rwanda chose to join in 2009. In that connection, we are soon considering exempting citizens of the Commonwealth, as well as the African Union and the Francophonie, from paying visa fees when entering Rwanda,” President Kagame said.
Only 17 countries are exempted from paying the visa fee when entering Rwanda. With Commonwealth having 53 members and Francophonie with 54 member states across the world, over 90 countries are expected to benefit from this proposition. The move is expected to ease access to Rwanda for a significant section of the international community as well. Rwanda’s visa-openness has earned it a top place as one of the most open in the yearly visa openness index publications.
Commenting on the relationship between UK and Africa, Kagame noted that there is positive momentum and the timing is good. With Britain looking to re-imagine its global trade and investment arrangements and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the world’s largest new free trade area becoming operational in Africa this July, covering nearly the entire continent will deepen both regional and international relations.
Rwanda’s transformation over the years has been impactful across the East African Region.