Starting from 1 September 2017 the government of Kenya will start issuing out electronic passports according to reports by The Standard Media. The passports, which were due to be released in December 2016 and later pushed for April will have an electronic chip holding the same information as the current national passports. To get the e-passports, citizens will pay the same price as the current version.
Speaking on the postponement, Immigration Services Director Maj Gen (rtd) Gordon Kihalangwa said the postponement was due to unforeseen circumstances.
The e-passports will be launched in other East African countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and South Sudan. These passports will provide travellers with benefits such as use of automated border clearance or “E-gates”, automated issuance of boarding passes, and faster travel arrangements with airlines. Details of the passport will be registered with the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
The documents are said to be secure and difficult to duplicate when compared to the existing passports. This travel document is an initiative of the East African Community (EAC) and it will be used by the regional citizens for international travel. It is the EAC’s way of promoting intra African trade.