The presidents of South Africa and Kenya said Wednesday they have resolved a long-standing visa dispute and Kenyans will be able to visit South Africa visa-free for up to 90 days in a calendar year.
South Africans already get free visas on arrival in Kenya, while Kenyans were charged and required to provide proof of sufficient funds and return flight tickets.
The new agreement is set to take effect on Jan. 1.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was in Kenya on his first official trip to the country.
He and Kenyan President William Ruto praised the Ethiopia peace agreement signed last week in South Africa and brokered by the African Union.
They appealed to the parties to “ensure full implementation of the agreement to reach a lasting political settlement.”
“We agree on the need for peace and stability in our continent and ending conflicts within and between states. Besides destroying lives and livelihoods, these conflicts greatly retard progress in addressing important social and economic issues. We have therefore agreed that we need to remain focused on issues affecting our regions and our continent and not be distracted by other global matters that are not of our making. We advocate for African solutions for African problems,” said Ramaphosa.
“We laud the just concluded agreement between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front brokered by the Africa Union and mediated by President Olusegun Obasanjo and Uhuru Kenyatta and former Deputy President of South Africa Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. We appeal to all parties to ensure the full and comprehensive implementation of the agreement,” Ruto said.
The Kenyan and South African leaders also directed their trade ministers to address barriers that limit trade between the two countries.
The two nations are among the strongest economies on the African continent.