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Immigration and Labour

EAC to start issuing EA e-Passport January 2018

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanznaia; 07 April 2017:
The 35th EAC Council of Minister’s meeting has directed Partner States to commence issuance the New EA e-Passport by 31st January 2018, after the consideration of the different status of preparedness by the Partner States during their recent meeting in Arusha.

The Council directives came on the backdrop of the 17th Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State directed the Partner States to commence issuance of the New EA e-Passport by 1st January, 2017 and implement the phase out programme for the current machine readable East African and National Passports from 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2018.

According to the 35th EAC Council of Minister’s report, Republic of Burundi reported that through Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement had completed the process of procuring the EA e-Passport booklets and is ready to commence issuance by 3rd April 2017.

The Republics of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda reported to commence issuance of the New International EA e-passport not later than April 2017 while the United Republic of Tanzania will be ready to commence the issuance of EA e–Passport by 1st January 2018.

EA e-Passport is expected to boost free movement of people across the region and it will be in line with implementation of the Common Market protocol which guaranteed the right to move between countries in East Africa.

The EAC e–Passport will have Diplomatic, Service and Ordinary categories and is different from the current machine readable passport being issued by the Partner States. It will be valid for up to 10 years while the Diplomatic passport and service passport will be valid according to specific term of the service of the holder.

The standard international e-Passport will have a chip that holds the same information that is printed on the passport’s data page, the holder’s name, date of birth, and other biographic information. It will also contains a biometric identifier and have a digital photograph of the holder and security features to prevent unauthorised reading or “scanning” of data stored.

The new EAC travel document will come in red, green and sky blue —the colours of the EAC flag — but with text and national emblems, in gold to complete its face.The colour of the passport will depend on categories. For instance, EAC diplomats will carry a passport that is red in colour, green for officials and sky blue for ordinary people.

The outer front cover will have the words ‘East African Community’ in gold on top and below the name of the issuing Partner States will be pasted.


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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

EAC, UNHCR to Collaborate in Protection of Refugees

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 22 March 2017:
The East African Community (EAC) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have today agreed to collaborate in the promotion of the rights of refugees, including the protection of forcibly displaced people and regulatory regimes affecting the movement of persons, immigration and refugee management.

The agreement came during the bilateral discussion between the EAC Secretary General, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko and UNHCR representative and Head of Regional Service Centre (RSC), East, Horn of Africa and Great lakes Region, Ms Victoria Akyeampong, when she paid a courtesy call on the Secretary General this morning in Arusha, Tanzania.

Speaking during the discussions, the EAC Secretary General noted that despite forced displacement plaguing the Community for a long time, durable solutions were being found for hundreds of thousands of refugees.

‘’I am happy today that we have agreed to work together. Our region has for a long time suffered a lot in the context of refugees and that explains why in the EAC we look at the refugee issue as one of the critical areas of regional integration’’, noted Secretary General.

Amb. Mfumukeko commended the good work done by UNHCR in protection of rights of refugees such as access to asylum, health, education, employment, repatriation and housing. ‘’I believe we have a lot to work together towards securing our society in promoting the rights of refugees.’’

On her part, Ms Victoria Akyeampong, said that the refugees situation in the East, Horn of Africa and Great Lakes region is too alarming. “Thus why we look forward to work together with EAC in the context of refugees and develop a common mechanism of refugee management that will be based on international standards”.

The two officials agreed to form a task force to work on areas of collaborations to ensure the regional common mechanism of management of refugees is developed and implemented. The taskforce will also be expected to review the status of implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the EAC Secretariat and UNHCR with a view to identifying implementation challenges and chart out the way forward.


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Notes to Editor: 

The MoU between the UNHCR and EAC was signed on 9th March, 2010. The MoU establishes a framework for cooperation between the EAC and UNHCR in five areas of common concern and cooperation, including Conflict Prevention and Peace-building; Early Warning and Response; Movement of Persons, Immigration and Movements and the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in East Africa

The Treaty for the Establishment  of the EAC requires Partner States to establish common mechanisms for the management of refugees. The Protocol on the Establishment of the EAC Common Market, also guarantees the free movement of persons in the Community and calls the Partner States to ensure that the movement of refugees within the Community are governed by the relevant international conventions.

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.


East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org