Member countries of the East African Community (EAC) have pushed forward the issuance of the EA e-Passport to early 2018 (January 2018). The announcement was made at the recently concluded 35th EAC Council of Ministers’ meeting in Arusha, Tanzania.
According to the 35th EAC Council of Minister’s report, Republic of Burundi reported that through Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement had completed the process of procuring the EA e-Passport booklets and is ready to commence issuance by 3rd April 2017.
The Republics of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda reported to commence issuance of the New International EA e-passport not later than April 2017 while the United Republic of Tanzania will be ready to commence the issuance of EA e–Passport by 1st January 2018.
EA e-Passport is expected to boost free movement of people across the region and it will be in line with implementation of the Common Market protocol which guaranteed the right to move between countries in East Africa.
The EAC e–Passport will have Diplomatic, Service and Ordinary categories and is different from the current machine readable passport being issued by the Partner States. It will be valid for up to 10 years while the Diplomatic passport and service passport will be valid according to specific term of the service of the holder.
The new EAC travel document will come in red, green and sky blue —the colours of the EAC flag — but with text and national emblems, in gold to complete its face.The colour of the passport will depend on categories. For instance, EAC diplomats will carry a passport that is red in colour, green for officials and sky blue for ordinary people.