Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya have agreed on having one visa entry sticker for the citizens traveling in either of the country, and this will be effective by January 2014.
Delegates from the three countries met in Kigali this September to discuss and review the modalities of implementing the one single tourism visa, use of IDs as travel documents as well as single customs territory.
The initiative under the Tripartite agreement between the three nations and followed up by heads of institutions responsible for Immigration, Tourism, Internal Affairs, Visa, Identity Cards and other relevant institutions from the three EAC countries
The use of national IDs as travel documents will facilitate free movement of citizens across the three borders, a move that is seen in the light of the ongoing process of the EAC regional integration- which has so far made progress in some aspects.
In the implementation process, it was decided that Rwandans and Kenyans will have to use the national identification as travel documents, while Ugandans- who don’t use National ID’s will have to use voter’s cards or student’s ID’s as entry vouchers.
The process looks to be excluding Tanzania, and Burundi-who are among the EAC countries but Monique Mukaruliza, the national coordinator of the tripartite initiative says that these countries have not implemented the process and will come on board once they are ready to follow suit.
Jane Wangare Waikenda, the director of Kenya immigration, retaliated that no intentions of isolating any partner state, instead this is one way of fast tracking the integration process and others can come on board at any time.
The three-day meeting in Kigali will also look into the proposed project for a single tourist visa sticker which will be approved by the ministerial meeting on September 13. A charge of $100 (about Rwf65, 500) will be tagged on a visa for 90 days validity and paid at the point of entry or in foreign missions. Currently, Kenya and Uganda charge $50 (about Rwf32,000) for tourist visa while Rwanda charges $30.
Apparently, today, September 13, the East Africa Community Partnership Fund received Kenya Shillings 337 million to support various activities geared towards accelerating the regional integration agenda. Created on September 15, 2006 the Fund’s core mandate is to support the EAC projects and programmes geared towards regional integration.