1 July 2019

Africa: Rwanda Starts Issuing East Africa E-Passport

Rwanda has begun issuing the East Africa e-passport in line with the country's commitment to promote regional integration as envisioned by East African Community (EAC) partner states, an immigration official announced Friday.

"Rwandans can now start applying for the common east africa e-passport. Starting from today, Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration will start issuing EAC e-passport," said Francois Regis Gatarayiha, director general of Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, at a press conference at the institution's head office in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda.

The e-passport is embedded with an electronic chip which will have biodata and biometric information of the holder, including the name, date of birth, and other biographic information, said Gatarayiha.

A common single EAC bloc e-passport will boost cross-border travels and trade, and further deepen EAC integration, said Gatarayiha.

The new e-passport database is enhanced with Automated Fingerprint Verification system (AFIS) to minimise fraud, identity theft, forgery and passport skimming, he said.

The EAC e-passport complies with guidelines set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, making it admissible globally, according to Gatarayiha.

Diplomatic passport's colour is red, service passport is green, ordinary passport is sky blue. The outer front cover will have the words: 'East African Community' in gold on top and the name of the issuing partner states will be pasted below.

Gatarayiha presented the diplomatic, service and ordinary e-passports to the first users shortly after the press conference.

EAC heads of state launched the East Africa e-passport and directed the commencement of its issuance during the 17th ordinary summit of the EAC heads of state in March 2016 in Arusha, Tanzania.

-Xinhua

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