Ugandan government is set to start issuing electronic or machine readable passports (MRP) and has promised to complete the process ahead of the November 2015 deadline as set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) a UN agency that regulates international air transport.
Last year, the ministry promised to implement this and this week the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Mr Anthony Namara said that the new passports will be equipped with an electronic chip that is readable by airport machines across the world where the system is already implemented.
In 2003, due to global security threats ICAO adopted the scheme for implementation of both MRPs and use of biometric identifiers in all of its 188 members. The passports are embedded with radio frequency identification chips that are machine readable and carry the passport holders information other than the bio data. In terms of apperance, the new passports will not be different from the existing ones except for the features in the ICAO guidelines. The old/ordinary passports are legible by data stored on computers by capturing only the graphic/bio data page.
Civil Aviation Authority public affairs manager Ignie Igunduura said the infrastructure is already in place. It should also be noted that other East African countries: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi are also implementing the same scheme.
Source: Daily Monitor