Revoking the visa regime. Endless possibilities…


Yesterday marked an end to the longest chaotic election period in Kenyan history. More than four months of politics taking the center stage culminated in the swearing-in of the incumbent President and son of the country’s founding father Jomo Kenyatta, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. I had not anticipated watching the events due to the ongoing preparations for my upcoming exams but out of curiosity and with every mainstream media covering it, I found myself following it live.

The events weren’t so much entertaining but I just watched anyhow b’se the swearing-in was the main talk of the town, major roads were closed and there was no school activity so I couldn’t pretend not knowing about what’s going on. So I hopped on the bandwagon. My president Museveni was there and I was keen on observing how his presence would enkindle Kenyans’ sentiments about us Ugandans but am glad he represented us well.

Though the fanfare wasn’t that much lively, something in Kenyatta’s second inaugural speech caught my attention. It was something to do with revealing new measures to further strengthen the bond of African unity. Before the declaration, I was dull in following the events but with the surprise, I immediately started paying close attention with remarkable excitement. So he announced that all Africans traveling to Kenya will get their visas on arrival. He added that this won’t be based on the long-held tradition of reciprocity, so long as you’re an African you’re already sorted, bud. Sounds dreamy, right? It’s what I first presumed but yaaaay, this is some fabulous news b’se it opens up the likelihoods that other African countries will do likewise and this will bring us closer to realizing the Agenda 2063.

As if the big proclamation wasn’t enough to excite me, so the president went on to offer an ‘awesome’ package to East Africans (Ugandans, Tanzanians, Burundians, South Sudanese and Rwandese) when he announced that they will be treated just like Kenyans and that they’ll be free to move in and settle, seek employment, obtain properties, and even marry Kenyans – permanently!

In driving his point home, before a dozen of attending African heads of states, Uhuru further said: “For my fellow Africans, the free movement of people on our continent has always been a cornerstone of Pan-African brotherhood and fraternity. The freer we are to travel and live with one another, the more integrated and appreciative of our diversity, we will become.” He’s absolutely right, give me the liberty to move unrestricted and I’ll realize my potential to the fullest.

Recently, I wrote about the new pan-African passport designated to ease intra-Africa movement of Africans and their stuff. I’m in full support of all the policies and measures put in place to enhance human movement without enforcing physical barriers to hinder us. This might help put an end to several challenges like human trafficking, and the economic migrants currently risking desert and unseaworthy conditions only to end up wreaking havoc in Europe.

With my forthcoming six-nation trip to southern Africa, I am truly convinced that with the increasing display of the pan-African spirit that’s sweeping across the continent, very soon I’ll be unbounded in my goal to visit each sovereign African country. Life’s better en cool when you’re exposed to fresh experiences and enjoying those beautiful moments for life!

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