Rwanda is set to revamp its passport to include additional security features and symbols promoting the country’s tourism sector as well as its culture. The move is in line with an East African Community directive for countries to upgrade to a regional e-passport.
The new passport will have an electronic chip, biometric features and hidden security pictures.
“The current passport features the national emblem and flag. The new document will retain these old features and add others approved by Cabinet such as the Mountain Gorilla and the Kigali Convention Centre,” said the director-general of the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration Anaclet Kalibata.
The 35th EAC Council of Ministers which convened on Tuesday April 4, directed partner states to begin issuing the EA e-passport by January 31, 2018.
According to Mr Kalibata, Rwanda now hopes to issue the electronic passports from January next year. Those with current passports will be given two years to upgrade up to January 2020.
The international travel document will have diplomatic, service and ordinary categories and will be valid for up to 10 years.
Among the reasons the EAC is launching the electronic passports are to step up the war against terrorism and keep abreast with technological advancements globally.