Tanzania should agree to regional tourist visa

In Summary

• Tourism  CS Alfred Mutua want a single regional tourist visa for East Africa

• Member states of the East African Community are not living up to the promise of free movement of goods and labour

Tourists take photos of lions at Maasai Mara
Tourists take photos of lions at Maasai Mara
Image: Douglas Okiddy

The East African Community is a sleeping giant. It has not properly taken off because of the mutual suspicion among member states.

Kenya itself is not immune from criticism. Kenyans are in high demand as specialised workers across East Africa yet Kenya is reluctant to issue work permits to East Africans here, despite there theoretically being free movement of labour within the EAC. 

The latest hiccup is the reluctance of Tanzania to sign up to a single tourist visa for East Africa. This does not make sense. If international tourists can visit Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya with a single entry visa, it will obviously boost visitor numbers for all countries. 

Tanzania may fear Kenya's superior airline connections but ultimately most of the money is spent where the tourists go to visit, which will often be in Tanzania.

Tourism CS Alfred Mutua has been pushing the single tourist visa for East Africa. This is definitely in tune with President  Ruto's announcement that Kenya would allow all Africans to visit Kenya without advance visas. So Mutua should keep pushing and Tanzania, now under more progressive leadership, should accept the regional tourist visa.

Quote of the day: "Things do not happen. Things are made to happen."

John F. Kennedy
The US President wa
s assassinated on November 22, 1963

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