Zim-Kenya economic and political ties deepen

Kenya has scrapped the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) fee for Zimbabwean travellers. The ETA fee was a pre-approval requirement for entering Kenya, but now Zimbabwean passport holders can travel there without the additional financial burden. Kenya now requires Zimbabwean travellers to apply for authorization on digital platforms for identification purposes. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade announced the revised application processes for Zimbabwean travellers in a statement issued on May 13, 2024.

While other countries remain hesitant to do business with Zimbabwe, Kenya has demonstrated its willingness to facilitate hassle-free travel for Zimbabwean visitors, recognizing the benefits of bilateral cooperation. By waiving ETA fees, Kenya aims to attract more Zimbabwean visitors and foster economic ties between the two nations, a move that benefits both countries.

During President William Ruto’s State Visit last month, which included the official opening of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), some individuals failed to appreciate the significance of the visit. However, with the Kenyan government’s subsequent removal of ETA fees for Zimbabwean travelers, it is clear that Zimbabwe is making economic progress, and those who previously doubted the visit’s benefits should now acknowledge the country’s advancement.

The Kenyan government’s decision to remove ETA fees for Zimbabwean travellers is a welcome development that will boost economic interactions between the two nations. However, it is essential for Zimbabweans to reciprocate this gesture by engaging in productive business activities during their visits to Kenya, avoiding any unruly behaviour that could tarnish the country’s image.

President E.D. Mnangagwa’s engagement and reengagement policy, initiated in 2017, has consistently yielded positive results. The Kenyan government’s gesture is one of many achievements that have occurred in Zimbabwe since the Second Republic took office. As President Mnangagwa often states, “Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy to none.

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