During a momentous state visit to Comoros on their 48th Independence Day, President William Ruto of Kenya made a significant commitment to eliminate visa requirements for Comorian citizens holding valid travel documents, facilitating seamless travel between the two nations. In his address, he expressed his unwavering dedication to this cause, assuring that the visa requirement would be abolished before the conclusion of 2023, thus fostering an environment of open borders and encouraging the free movement of individuals.
President Ruto went on to highlight his aspirations for closer collaboration between Kenya and Comoros, outlining his commitment to engage in substantive discussions on various sectors crucial to both countries, including education, healthcare, agriculture, and security. One notable proposal in the realm of education is the possibility of allowing Comorian students to pursue higher education in Kenya at the same tuition rates as local students, exemplifying a commitment to educational inclusivity and regional cooperation.
Underscoring the importance of shared potential and opportunities, President Ruto stressed the need to harness collective strengths, promote innovation, and build sustainable economies that prioritize the well-being and interests of the citizens. He emphasized the spirit of solidarity and cooperation in tackling common challenges, such as climate change, regional security, and economic development, emphasizing the value of collaboration in achieving shared goals.
Commending Comoros for its ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) earlier in the year, President Ruto acknowledged the potential for expanding trading avenues between the two countries. He lauded the move as a catalyst for enhancing economic diplomacy within the African continent, creating opportunities for mutual growth and prosperity.
In a gesture of deepening integration, President Ruto extended an invitation to the people of Comoros to consider joining the East African Community, a regional organization that aims to promote economic, political, and social cooperation among its member states. By extending this invitation, President Ruto envisions a future of shared progress and prosperity for the region, uniting efforts towards common goals and strengthening regional bonds.
President Ruto’s visit to Comoros and his far-reaching commitments signify a significant milestone in the bilateral relations between Kenya and Comoros, paving the way for enhanced cooperation, economic integration, and people-to-people exchanges. The envisioned visa-free travel regime and the exploration of diverse sectors of collaboration demonstrate Kenya’s steadfast dedication to nurturing a harmonious and mutually beneficial partnership with Comoros, while fostering regional integration and sustainable development within East Africa and beyond.