The government of Zimbabwe has announced the launch of an electronic passport (e-Passport), which would protect the privacy of citizens as it comes with advanced security features against identity theft and counterfeiting of travel documents.
This innovative step was first disclosed in a statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage. According to the statement, all valid traditional non-electronic passports will remain in use, but upon expiry, will cease to be accepted as citizens will be required to get the e-passports in line with the ICAO guidelines.
Zimbabwe’s introduction of the e-Passport resonates with global best practices, and the migration from the traditional passports to the e-passport conforms to the need to implement technology-aided improvements, which safeguard immigration, added the Ministry statement.
The adoption of the e-passport by the Zimbabwean government aligns with global best practices, and this move puts the nation on the list of countries that are compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Document 9303 on the deployment of biometric identification and electronic storage of data in machine-readable travel documents.
The ICAO, which is the specialised agency on aviation security and standards for international travel, prescribes member States to adopt measures that safeguard the integrity and security of travel and identity documents.