The Star (Nairobi)

East Africa: Single Visa for E Africa Launched

Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda yesterday presented their joint single tourist visa to the world during the ongoing International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin, Germany.

In a speech read on her behalf by Kenya's Ambassador to Germany Ken Osinde, Cabinet Secretary for East Africa Affairs, Commerce and Tourism ,Phyllis Kandie praised the move saying in the past tourists visiting the three countries had to seek separate visas in a process that was cumbersome and costly.

"This will harmonize immigration procedures, help curb cross-border insecurity, enable tourists have a one-stop border check point and generally open the region for more visitors," she said.

Tourist can now acquire one visa at 100 US dollars and visit the three states as many times as they wished for three months. She said the introduction of a single Visa, the three countries signals their intention to jointly promote the landscapes, wildlife and experiences they are endowed with.

"Through this initiative, which we hope will eventually involve all the five partner state of the EAC, we will be highlighting the unique attractions to be found in each country," she added.

Kandie said the tripartite arrangement will see the countries have joint stands in international travel and trade fairs. Heads of delegations from the three East Africa Community nations that are part of a tripartite agreement praised the move on the visa.

She said tourists will be lodging their applications for the single Visa at embassies, consulates or diplomatic representation and once issued, the holder of an EAC tourist Visa will enter the country that issued it and subsequently move within the other two countries without applying or paying for Visa.

Mean while, 10,000 Euros has been disbursed to KWS and would soon be distributed to families to support education of departed rangers.

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