By Christine Lagat NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya on Thursday launched an electronic passport with advanced
inbuilt features to boost efficient, secure and traceable
cross-border movement of people and goods.
Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i, said the launch of an
electronic passport was in line with Kenya’s commitment to
promote regional integration as envisioned by member states of
the East African Community (EAC).
“The common East
Africa e-passport is a milestone towards realization of the East
African integration and cross-border migration agenda. It will
also operationalize EAC protocols on common market and foreign
policy coordination,” said Matiang’i.
Kenya became the
second East African nation after Burundi to announce issuance of
an e-passport that was endorsed by regional heads of state
during a summit held in March 2016.
Matiang’i said the
current passports will be obsolete by September 2019 to pave way
for mass issuance of a digital version that is tamper-proof.
“The e-passport is
highly secure and difficult to produce duplicates. Issuance of
this passport will come in handy in addressing emerging threats
of terrorism and human trafficking,” Matiang’i said.
He noted that
Kenya’s immigration system will win global confidence upon
issuance of secure, efficient and user-friendly electronic
Kenya has invested
heavily in state-of-theart technology alongside skilled manpower
to modernize issuance of travel documents against a backdrop of
Immigration Gordon Kilahangwa said the state had invested 5
million U.S. dollars to facilitate issuance of electronic
passports that enhances smooth clearance of travelers at border
crossings and other ports of entry.