East Africa to launch regional e-passports in March
17 February 2016, 13:17
Nairobi - East African Community (EAC) is set to launch the long awaited regional e-passport in March, an official at the bloc has said.
The e-passport was set to be launched by November 24 last year in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirements, but only Burundi conformed.
Other members of the trading bloc are Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
According to Standard, the e-passport will be launched during the 17th Ordinary EAC Heads of State Summit set for February 29 in Arusha, Tanzania.
Previous reports indicated that after the launch, citizens of the EAC member states will have to return the old model passports and receive the new generation one.
The e-passport will have an electronic chip holding the same information as the old model passport, alongside a biometric identifier, digital photograph of the holder and security features to prevent unauthorized use and forgery.
Currently, citizens within the bloc use national IDs and voter’s cards as travel documents following an agreement signed by member states in 2014.