The East African Community (EAC) is pushing for the adoption of EACPass to facilitate cross-border movement due to the perennial standoff at the Kenya-Uganda borders along Busia and Malaba.
This would also mean ending persistent border traffic snarl-ups disrupting intra-EAC trade.
For days now, the commercial truck drivers have been protesting mandatory COVID tests at the border imposed even on those who have proof of a test from Kenya.
EAC Secretary General, Dr. Peter Mathuki, noted that as the region strives to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, constant trade impasses at EAC border points were reducing the gains made in integrating the region.
Mathuki urged partner states authorities to prioritize the adoption of a regional coordinated approach in handling the pandemic.
“Harmonization of Covid-19 charges and coordinated waiting time for COVID results is critical to facilitate business continuity and ease the cost of doing business,” said Dr. Mathuki.
“The EACPass is directly integrated to all the six (6) Partner States central depository (National Laboratories) and only national accredited laboratories are approved to carry out PCR Covid-19 tests for travelers. This is set to build confidence in all Partner States since certificates are digitally authenticated from all accredited laboratories in the region.”
Currently, EAC Partner States have finalized the technical integration of accredited laboratories within the Community to EACPass and digital certificates can be shared across the region to facilitate easy movement of EAC citizens within the region.
The piloting of EACPass has started in the Republic of Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi while the other Partner States are finalizing the internal processes to start the piloting of the same.
The system that integrates all East Africa member states works by consolidating the results of all travellers and passengers undertaking mandatory COVID-19 testing in the designated accredited laboratories in each of the regional governments.