Uganda becomes first East African country to fully shift to new e-passports

Uganda becomes first East African country to fully shift to new e-passports

Uganda is the first East African country to fully shift to the new electronic passport, beating fellow EAC members who have been deferring the implementation deadline for the new secure documents.

Ugandans who haven't acquired the new generation passport can no longer travel out of Entebbe after the country has phased out the old document reading machines.

The decision to adopt a new generation of passports and phase out old ones was reached in March 2016 by the EAC heads of state in Arusha, Tanzania.

Kenya has pushed the deadline for acquiring new generation passports to November after it missed an earlier one that had been set for December last year.

EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki urged members state that have not implemented the e-passport requirement to fast-track the implementation.

Mr Mathuki said that all member states should adopt the new passport in line with the EAC directive.

The phase-out of Rwandan passports was pushed from June 27, 2021 to June 27, 2022, according to a communique issued by the Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration.

Kenya has rolled out new chip-embedded passports for its citizens in a move that targets rampant forgery and impersonation of holders. The new features are intended to make it impossible for anyone to copy a Kenyan passport.

The roll out of the e-passports with a 10 year validity period marked the beginning of the end of the older passports that have been in use since Independence and have joined 60 other countries that use new passports.