Tanzania launches electronic passport

E-passport will give Tanzanians easier access around East African Community.

Tanzania has launched a new electronic passport for use within the five-member regional bloc of the East African Community (EAC), ahead of the December 2018 deadline.

Tanzania follows Kenya in the introduction of the passport which is designed to facilitate movement and trade between the five EAC member countries: Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

The e-passport contains an electronic chip with the same information as the old national passport but with the addition of a biometric code, digital photographs and security features to prevent fraud and forgery. The e-passport will be valid for ten years and costs Sh150,000. 

The $57 million project to introduce Tanzania's e-passports was undertaken in collaboration with the Irish government and the US-based HID Global electronic passport company.

Currently EAC citizens can use national identification and voting cards as travel documents, following an agreement reached by member states in 2014.