Tanzania is among four east African countries that have recently announced the issuance of the new East African Community (EAC) e-passport by November 2015.
According to Tanzania Immigration Department Commissioner Abbas Irovya, the new e-passport which will be introduce together with modernization of services at the institution, is meant to reduce fraud associated with the current non-biometric passport.
The new EAC travel document will count with a chip that holds all the owner’s biometric information, photography and other security features to prevent among other illegal usages the impersonation.
The e-passport is part of the EAC road map which mandates the issuance for East African partner states to replace the old EAC passport launched in 1999 and that will be dismissed within the next two years.
It will count with a colour differentiation whether it is for diplomatic, service or ordinary purposes and will last for up to ten years.
In addition, even though it is an EAC common passport, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs from each partner state will need to add their own security features.
Uganda’s Principal Immigration Officer, Mr. Benon Mujuni, said that the new travel document will be launched during the next EAC Heads of State Summit in November 2015, after which the Sectoral Council of Ministers responsible for EAC Affairs and Planning will communicate the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to ensure the passport’s recognition abroad.
From the 193 United Nations member states, only 93 are already using the e-passport with Burundi being the only one from the EAC.