The new digitalised and machine-readable East African Passport replaces the old EAC travel document, which was restricted to just the five member states. Apparently, the proposed new one is going to be as international as the current Tanzanian booklet passport, which means it will be accepted all over the globe.
Arusha will be hosted five Presidents from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania who are set to converge here for their Heads of State Summit on 2nd of March 2016.
According to the Head of Communications at the East African Community Secretariat, Richard Owora Othieno, the five East African presidents converged for their 17th Ordinary East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Summit.
The five presidents, including for the first time at the summit, John Magufuli, will have several items on the agenda, including the launching of the new electronic East African Passport and discussion of the possibilities of adding new members, including South-Sudan into the Arusha-based, community.
The Summit will also address the consideration of reports by the preceding EAC Council of Ministers on: the negotiations on the admission of the Republic of South Sudan into the Community.
The Head of State will also be addressing Sustainable Financing Mechanisms for the EAC; and the EAC Institutional Review. Tanzania will be handing over the Summit Chair to the next country, possibly Burundi despite conflicts in the country.
They talked about the Reduction of the Importation of Used Motor Vehicles from Outside the Community, and; the Promotion of the Textile and Leather Industries in the region, and stopping importation of Used Clothes, Shoes and Other Leather Products from outside the region.
The Summit also deliberated on a report by the Council on the verification exercise for the admission of the Republic of Somalia into the EAC. The Heads of State launched the new International East African e-passport (electronic-passport) during their meeting.