28 November 2017

Note: This article first appeared on All Africa. Written by Kenfrey Kiberenge. 

The announcement by President Uhuru Kenyatta that citizens of African countries would get visas upon arrival in Kenya has been met with mixed reaction.

Mr Kenyatta, in his inauguration speech declared that this will NOT be done on the basis of reciprocity.

"Today, I am directing that any African wishing to visit Kenya will be eligible to receive a visa at the port of entry. To underscore Kenya's commitment, this shall not be done on the basis of reciprocity," he said.

"The freer we are to travel and live with one another, the more integrated and appreciative of our diversity, we will become. The political balkanization that risks our mutual security, the negative politics of identity, will recede as our brotherhood expands to embrace more Africans."

Treated Like Kenyans

He also announced that East Africans will be treated like Kenyans in while Kenya.

"Our Brothers and Sisters in the East African Community; from today, you will be treated like Kenyans. Like your Kenyan brothers and sisters, you will need only your identity card. You can now work, do business; own property, farm and if you wish, and find a willing partner, you can marry and settle in Kenya," he said.

"And this commitment we make with no conditions for reciprocity but driven by our desire for deeper regional integration."

But the pronouncement has been met with both elation and skepticism.

Below are a few reactions:

Might bring in drug cartels

If we allow everyone to receive Visa on arrival we will be opening up to drug dealers- protect our country and our PRIDE @UKenyatta

- Gorety Apondi (@apondig) November 28, 2017

Should employ reciprocity

This will turn out wrong... this should only be allowed for citizens whose country offers Kenyans visa on arrival

-- Erick Mugita (@ngeta) November 28, 2017

#InaugurationKe even the Chinese get visa on arrival,can something be done on kenyans travelling there too @kot

- Josephine (@Josephi83569471) November 28, 2017

Spur growth

Kenya announces visa on arrival for all Africans - ABC News this is a significant and positive development that should advance the democratization of the African continent. This should stimulate economic growth as well. https://t.co/XCMATO4KPg

- TheVitalPortal (@TheVitalPortal) November 28, 2017

Eases travel

Its not free visa but Visa on Arrival.. Notice you ought to fulfill other requirements before being admitted. Nigeria is doing the same... It eases travel arrangements

-- Liz Mbaire (@liz_mbaire) November 28, 2017

Read the original article on Nairobi News.

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