President William Ruto, on Thursday, February 9, reached an agreement with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki to scrap the visa requirement for travelling citizens from both countries.
While addressing a press conference at State House, Ruto affirmed that the move would enhance trade and other relationships between Kenya and Eritrea.
He further underscored that structured collaboration was key in enhancing the relations for the mutual benefit of the two nations.
“We must have a regime that is free of barriers to further integration, strengthen connectivity and enhance regional trade,” President Ruto noted.
“We have agreed to abolish the requirement of Visas permanently, effective today. In this regard, we have instructed our ministries of the interior to work on the modalities for the ratification of this directive."
In addition, Ruto hinted at plans to readmit Eritrea into the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an organization that unites countries in the Horn of Africa and aimed at addressing regional challenges.
Ruto, who is set to take over the rotational chairmanship of IGAD, noted that Eritrea's entry would be crucial in actualizing the organization's goals.
He also cited Eritrea's involvement in regional peace operations as an indication of its goodwill to have a prosperous union.
"I look forward to working closely with him (President Afwerki) and the rest of the member states to re-engineer IGAD, make it fit for purpose to respond effectively to the needs of our region," Ruto added.
Among the areas of potential collaboration highlighted by both Presidents in the joint presser include renewable energy, water management, agriculture, transport, security, tourism, the blue economy and education.
Ruto also directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kenya to fast-track the process of opening a diplomatic mission and to ensure that it was operational immediately.
On his part, the Eritrean President praised his Kenyan counterpart for his efforts to establish trade relationships and ensure the region's peace.
The development came amid concerns from different quarters regarding the consequences of Ereitrea's readmission to IGAD and its effect on the ongoing Ethiopian peace talks.
Eritrea was accused of posing an obstacle in the process of pacifying Ethiopia and the rebel forces of Tigray.