The Uganda Government has unveiled teh first batch of the long awaited electronic passports that are to be issued to its citizens. Accoring to the Internal Affairs Ministry, 24,000 passports are ready for collection in the first step towards transiting to E- passports.
Gen Jejje Odong, the Internal Affairs Minister on Tuesday launched the first batch of Electronic passports (E-passports). This follows a fortnight announcement of East African Passports replacing the Uganda Passport as the next form of travel document for Ugandan nationals.
He explained that the new passports, the new passports have better security features and will be easier to use than the old passorts. The new passport is capable of storing holders’ data in a chip embedded within it and this will make identification of Ugandan citizens easier.
He added on that this will see Uganda joining a growing list of countries switching to the more secure E-passports. “It brings us now into the family of the world as demanded by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). We are now compliant. We are part of the family of the 150 plus countries that now issue and travel with E-passport documents.
Government is moving to phase out the current type of passports by the end of January 2021 which is the deadline set by the six East African countries. “The old passports will still be valid for another two years from now so you can still travel with it. But if you in the meantime wish to change, it’s up to you,” Gen Odongo said.
However, the new E-passports will be more expensive to obtain. An ordinary E-passport will cost Shs250, 000. The ones in use currently cost Shs150, 000 while official and diplomatic passports cost Shs200, 000 and Shs400, 000 respectively.