Kenya's Immigration Department have announced that they will start issuing e-passports starting April 2017. The new e-passports are said to have a chip that will have the passport holder's details and biometrics.
e-Passports, also known as digital passports, contain contactless smart card technology embedded in the passport that stores a copy of the holder's critical information as printed on the data page, as well as biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of travellers.
Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is used to authenticate the data stored electronically in the passport chip, making it expensive and difficult to forge.
The cost and procedure for applying for an e-passport in Kenya will remain the same.
Currently, the only Afrikan countries that issue e-Passports are Ghana, Gabon, Egypt, Morocco and Mauritius, among approximately fifty countries across the world. Furthermore, Kenya's e-passports form part of a wider strategy by East African countries to improve regional integration. Reports are that other countries in East Africa will also start rolling out e-passports starting in 2017.
- Kenya's Immigration Department has now moved the roll out of e-Passports forward to September 2017.