Kenya climbed six places from position 15th in 2017 to rank ninth last year in the Africa Visa Openness Index which measures how easy it is for visitors to enter a country.
The index, published by African Development Bank (Afdb), measures how open African countries are when it comes to visas by looking at what they ask of citizens from other countries in Africa when they travel. The ranking aims to show at a glance which countries are facilitating travel for citizens of other countries and how; whether they allow people to travel to their country without a visa, if travellers can get a visa on arrival in the country, or if visitors need to get a visa before travel.
"Kenya moved up six places into the top 10 countries in the Africa Visa Openness Index in 2018," AfDB said in the report.
The multilateral development finance institution attributed Kenya’s improvement to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive which is aimed at promoting more open borders across the continent and to boost trade, security and Africa-wide integration.
"The country’s improved score follows its new visa-on-arrival policy for all Africans, which was highlighted in President Kenyatta’s inauguration speech in November 2017."
Leading Africa in Visa Openness Index is Seychelles, Benin and Rwanda, which ranked first, second and third respectively.
Eight countries in the top most visa-open countries are in East Africa (Comoros, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Uganda and Tanzania.
Western Saharan countries are the least accessible, followed by Equatorial Guinea and Sudan.
Data on visa openness was collected in June and July 2018. The primary source of information was the International Air Transport Association (IATA).