Ruto explains why Kenya is visa free

President William Ruto during the joint National Executive Retreat and Parliamentary Group Consultative Meeting in Naivasha, Nakuru County on February 19, 2024.[PCS, Standard]

President William Ruto has revealed some of the environmental motivations behind his decision to make Kenya a visa-free country for all visitors.

He spoke at the sixth United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi on Thursday, February 29.

The president said that one of the factors that influenced his decision was the presence of the largest UN office in the global south in Nairobi, which hosted the third intergovernmental negotiation committee to develop a global plastic treaty in November 2023.

“Kenya is the home of humanity and the host of the only UN headquarters in the global south. It is not fair to require anyone to get a visa to come home,” he said.

He added that the visa-free policy, which took effect in January 2024, was aimed at promoting tourism, trade, and cultural exchange.

The ongoing sixth UNEA, which runs until March 1, is themed “Effective, inclusive and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution”.

The assembly is convened every two years to address critical environmental challenges facing the planet and to set the global environmental agenda.