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    Namibia launches e-passport

    APA-Windhoek (Namibia)

    Namibia’s Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration on Monday started issuing electronic passports.

    Immigration and Border Control director Nehemia Nghishekwa told journalists on Monday that the ministry would stop issuing new machine-readable passports.
    He said the old passports currently in circulation would run concurrently with the e-passports until they outlive their five-year lifespan.
    “The current machine-readable passports are still accepted in the international world. However, they are phasing out,” Nghishekwa said.
    The rolling out of the new passport is line with requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization that has called on United Nations member states to implement e-passports.
    The biometric passports that contain 40 pages compared to 32 pages for the old passport, comes with enhanced security features, including an electronic chip.
    It also features the country’s map on the cover page, photos of parliament building and watermarks on all pages of the iconic national plant – the Welwitschia.
    Nghishekwa commended the launch of the e-passport, adding that “the drive is to maintain the integrity of the Namibian travel document and to render it difficult for forging”.


    AT/jn/APA

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