What you need to know:
- Burundi Minister of EAC Affairs Leontine Nzeyimana said her country had started testing if the IDs could work in Bujumbura before moving to other areas
Burundi has started a pilot programme on the issuance of machine readable national identity cards.
East African Community partner states have until 2015 to implement the Common Market protocol which will see people from the region move freely using IDs as travel documents.
Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda are already using machine readable IDs.
Burundi Minister of EAC Affairs Leontine Nzeyimana said her country had started testing if the IDs could work in Bujumbura before moving to other areas.
Ms Nzeyimana said free movement of persons with the machine readable IDs remains one of the crucial steps Burundi is taking to catch up with Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
“We have now started issuing the machine readable IDs as a pilot program here in Bujumbura then after we will extend to other provinces and in the near future we will be joining the three partner states which already have,” she added.
The minister spoke during a media interview in Bujumbura.
Burundians have been reluctant to register for the new IDs due to information demanded by the government including bank accounts, properties and land which resulted to the low turn out in Bujumbura.
Ms Nzeyimana says there is need to sensitize the citizens on the benefits and importance of the new IDs as travel documents.