February 21, 2014

EAC Single Tourists Visa To Be Issued Manually

The issuance of the Single East African Tourists Visa that was launched yesterday shall be issued manually in the meantime.

President's Museveni , Paul Kagame and Uhuru Kenyatta present "dummy" visas to tourists at the Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit
President’s Museveni , Paul Kagame and Uhuru Kenyatta present “dummy” visas to tourists at the Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit

This was agreed in a Presidents summit held in Kampala between President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda while South Sudan, Tanzania and Burundi representatives attended as observers.

The visa will give tourists multiple-entry access to the three countries — allowing the governments of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to market the region as a single tourist destination.

The holder of the East African tourist visa shall enter from the country that issued the visa and move within the two other countries without applying for another visa or paying for another visa fee.

Sam Kuteesa the Foreign Affairs Minister says it was agreed that Uganda and Kenya should issue the Visa manually at the boarder points as a stopgap measure. Kenya has subsequently been directed to develop the sample application and share it with Partner states for input within two weeks.

The Presidents also directed Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Internal Affairs of the partner states to meet and agree on modalities for a special Visa Fees Account.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta who entered Uganda using his Kenyan Identity card said this is the commencement of free movement of goods and persons.

He stated that through social, political and economic integration, the East African region can show that it is an economic powerhouse in the region.

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame noted that the progress made is encouraging but there is need to speed up moment for the benefit of the East Africans.

The Heads of state also launched the use of National Identity Cards, Students Cards and Voter cards.

They directed the use of Interstate Passes by the source country and also approved the harmonization n and sharing of watch lists to safeguard regional security.

It was revealed that the meeting of Ministers of Education in partner states to address the issue of standardization of student cards and the input from immigration will form part of the cards and report to the next summit.

The Ministers of Internal Affairs and security of the Partner states were directed to meet within two weeks and finalise movement Barriers, elimination strategy and issuance of work permits.

Uganda has also been directed to fast track the issuance of national identity cards.

Partner states were also urged to budget for E-Visa, E-Identity and E-border management systems.

Kenya Rwanda and Uganda will have a common pavilion at next months’ tourism fair in Berlin German to showcase East Africa as a single tourism destination.

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