Ghanaians warned against travelling to Kenya due to unrest

Story: News Desk 

Ghana’s High Commissioner to Kenya, Damptey Bediako Asare, has  advised  Ghanaians to be cautious about travelling to Kenya due to escalating protests in the East African country.

Protesters have launched what they call “7 Days of Rage,” with street marches against a controversial finance bill proposing new tax hikes. 

Initially intended as peaceful demonstrations, the protests turned violent on Tuesday as security forces clashed with protesters who vandalised state properties and attacked the Parliament building in Nairobi.

Kenya has been a popular destination for many Ghanaian tourists and, more recently, business owners exploring opportunities under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Initiative, which both Ghana and Kenya have signed onto.

A few days ago, Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration announced that in recognition of the existing visa-free regime agreement between Kenya and Ghana, Ghanaian travellers would now be issued an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) free of charge upon application for travel to Kenya, potentially increasing travel between the two countries.

However, due to the current security concerns, High Commissioner Damptey Bediako Asare told Joy News’ Connect Africa that many Kenyans also travel to Ghana for business and other purposes.

“But concerning Ghanaians travelling to Kenya, either for tourism or business or any other purpose, at this stage, with what is happening, we can only advise that you stay informed. 

“If you are already in the country, our advice is that you keep updated with the latest news, particularly from local news outlets and international news platforms. 

“If you are still in Kenya, it may be advisable to avoid protest areas,” he said. He also suggested that those planning to travel to Kenya in the coming days contact their travel agents or airlines for guidance and advice.

Some Ghanaian Members of Parliament were caught up in the ongoing demonstrations in Kenya.

The legislators, mostly from the Local Government Committee, were in Kenya’s Parliament when the riots turned violent outside. 

A video sighted by Myjoyonline shows the legislators being moved to safety inside the building. Among those seen in the amateur footage filmed by Asuogyaman MP, Thomas Ampen Nyarko, were MP for Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro Sylvester Tetteh, Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi, and Nii Lante Vanderpuye. 

The delegation also included Anita Quartey-Papafio, a clerk from Parliament in charge of Governance Cluster Committees.

Commenting on the general safety of Ghanaian nationals in Kenya, High Commissioner Damptey noted, “There’s no unfortunate incident involving any Ghanaian or any member of the Ghanaian community so far, and no casualties among the Ghanaian community.”

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