East Africa has Launched An Electronic Passport. How it Works

e-Passport to Be Used in East Africa

As close as January 2017, will be the official beginning of The East African community's new "Electronic Passports" 

This was launched in Aruha Tanzania on Wednesday 2nd of March 2016 at the Heads of State Summit hosted By President John Magufuli. This is further demonstration of the process ongoing to make the East African community (EAC) a success. Now having six member countries including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and the newest country South Sudan which officially joined the very day.

What Exactly Are E-Paports?

Electronic Passports (e-Passports), also known as biometric passports. Biometrics are the unique and measurable physical characteristics of a single individual that include face recognition, fingerprints, and iris scans.

An e-passport has a database enhanced with an AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Verification System) typically used to guard against multiple passport issuances to the same person and enhances imposter detection. It looks just like a traditional passport with just a diffrence in tech as the new e-passport comes with an electronic chip encoded with the same information found on the second page of the passport, This include the surname, given name, date of birth and the holders sex.

The e-passport is supposed to be highly secure and difficult to duplicate compared to the existing passports. Providing travelers with benefits such as use of automated border clearance, automated insurance activities, faster travel arrangements with airlines etc. This could actually be the firt real evidence of benefits that come along with the EAC.

Each member country has been given up to December 2018, to phase out their national passports.

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