East Africa to launch regional passport

The East African Community (EAC) is to launch a new passport for people living in the region. The passport will become the travel document of choice for citizens of Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania.

According to The Daily Maverick (SA), the EAC passport will be a light blue document with thin bands of red, yellow and green at the top and bottom. The passport will replace the limited-use EAC travel document that was introduced several years ago. Travel within the EAC region was easy for holders of the document, that was however not recognised internationally. It was of no use for travel outside the EAC region, but the new passport will be.

The document will be fully digitised. Its biometric security features will make it fully compliant with international best practise. It will therefore be accepted at border controls all over the world. The passport will contain a small radio chip to allow border officials to scan passport holders' data, including fingerprints and potentially iris scans.

The new passport is expected to ease negotiating for visa-free access to other countries, enhancing both trade and travel from the region. At the same time, the common passport reaffirms the right of EAC citizens to live and work in each others' countries.

Further reading on dailymaverick.co.za

< Previous Next >

Related articles