REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT: AFRICA

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Republic of Mali chooses OT for electronic passport

Mali PassportOT (Oberthur Technologies) has signed a contract with the Government of the Republic of Mali, following an invitation to tender, to supply a complete solution for issuing electronic passports which meet the strictest international security standards.

The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) grants OT a contract for 10 years, during which time the Republic of Mali will benefit from a comprehensive and innovative hi-tech industrial solution for its latest generation passport. The Republic of Mali has given OT, via Mali Solutions Numériques (MSN), and its partner Afritek, complete responsibility for Malian passports, from collection of payment from citizens to registration and validation of applications, through to production, personalization and distribution of the passports. The implementation of its Identity Management System (IDMS) solution reinforces OT’s position as a world leader in the market of high-security identification solutions.

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DRC selects Gemalto mobile biometric enrollment solution to support fair elections

enrollmentGemalto has won an international tender to supply CENI, the National Independent Electoral Commission of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with 22,000 mobile biometric voter enrollment kits to support a comprehensive update of the country’s national voter register. 

Gemalto’s fully portable Coesys Mobile Enrollment stations will enable 18,000 enrollment centers to rapidly acquire digital photographs, fingerprint and signature records of citizens, and instantly issue personalized voter cards for upcoming general elections. Gemalto will also ‘train the trainers’ for CENI and provide comprehensive maintenance and support for this voter registration project, which represents one of the largest ever.

“We needed a reliable partner to facilitate our ambitious program, which we expect will enroll up to 45 million voters,” said Corneille Nangaa, President of CENI. “With a wealth of experience in enrollment and voter registry applications in Africa and beyond, Gemalto offered an excellent technical fit, and the ability to react quickly to our requirements.”

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HID – The Nigerian Vehicle Registration Project

HID_NigeriaHID talks to us about their Vehicle Registration Project in Nigeria BCMR – the Biometric Central Motor Registry which the company has implemented with local partner Media Concept.

Media Concept’s Babtope M Agbeyo joins the interview to expand on the importance of the project for Nigerians and their partnership with HID Global.

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Africa – Identity in Diversity

africa_idBy Sanjay Dharwadker, WCC Smart Search & Match 

The griot of West African tradition is a living archive; an oral historian and troubadour who has the births and deaths of generations memorized. Even today we can still witness the ritual of reciting the names of generations of ancestors. And yet, Africa has abysmal birth registration rates: 32 % on average, with some countries coming in as low as 3 %. This means that every year over 15 million children are born in Africa with no birth records. 

Just four examples serve to demonstrate the immense diversity of the African identity situation:

  • A country that records identities on millions of manually typed index cards with different colors for different races.
  • A country in which over 16,000 local offices issue ID cards, each with a different format and content, decorated with pictures of local flowers and animals.
  • A country with an unsustainable currency and decades of single-person rule that despite all maintains immaculate birth and civil registration records.
  • A country with an ID system that is the envy of many advanced nations: multiple biometrics, secure polycarbonate contactless chip cards, web and mobile citizen services.

In part, this diversity stems from the differences in colonial administrative practices. Some states kept meticulous race records in line with national boundaries, while others used a less comprehensive approach. This caused many to struggle with nationality issues, resulting in violence and often even genocide.

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People, birth and legal identity

immunisationBy Sanjay Dharwadker, WCC Smart Search & Match.

How nations record individuals is subject to constant evolution. In recent decades we saw the rise of biometrics, but the next wave looks to take a more holistic approach comprising foundational identity, civil registration and vital statistics closely coupled to functional systems riding on the latest technologies. How should identity systems cope with this phenomenal evolution? And which issues must be addressed on the road to sustainable, safe and smart identification?
The history of civil registration goes back to ancient Egypt, Rome, India and China. The first modern national identity systems emerged in the 19th century. The vital events typically recorded are live birth, death, fetal death, marriage, divorce, separation and annulment of marriage, adoption, legitimization and recognition. Legal documents derived from these events include birth certificates, death certificates and marriage certificates.
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2015 ID4AFRICA: The inaugural event

ID4AFRICABy Joseph Atick, IBIA and Greg Pote, APSCA (Nov 2015)

Development agencies are bullish on Africa’s prospects. The World Bank’s June 2014 Global Economic Prospects report lists sub-Saharan Africa as one of the fastest-growing regions globally. According to a recent report by the African Development Bank, average growth was 3.9% last year and is expected to accelerate in 2015. An article in The Economist in May this year stated that foreign direct investment (FDI) is expected to reach $55 billion in 2015, 20% higher than in 2010. In contrast to inflows of capital in previous years, recent investments are increasingly targeting the less resource-rich countries and Africa’s booming middle classes. According to the same article, the amount of investment into technology, retail and business services in Africa increased by 17 percentage points between 2007 and 2013.

Although European states spearheaded trade with Africa, today Asia is increasingly playing a larger role in the growth of African GDP. Chinese investment and development projects in Africa have been a significant driver of economic growth for several years. Anyone who has taken a recent flight from Shanghai to Africa would have found it packed with Chinese blue-collar workers going to work as middle managers in construction and mining projects in East and West Africa. Despite the inroads already made by China, African trade with India is now growing at a faster rate than Chinese trade and is projected to reach $100 billion in 2015.

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The Angola National ID program – A building block of democracy

AngolaBy Rob Haslam, HID Global Government ID Solutions (May 2015)

While government agencies have not traditionally been viewed as industry innovators, the tide is changing. Government organizations at all levels are increasingly partnering with leaders in the private sector to make infrastructure investments that will take them well into the future.

Perhaps, the most obvious reason for this trend is that the government workforce of the future will be populated with digitally literate employees, lending itself to a more organizationally open government. We are seeing this model manifest in particular in developing countries where IT infrastructures are being built from the ground up. Governments, such as Angola, which is featured in this article, are building more social, mobile, accessible and information-driven environments to facilitate secure ID applications beyond basic citizen ID.

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The world looks to Nigeria

Nigeria_ID CArdThere was a strange occurrence in the western German city of Gelsenkirchen in the summer of 2014. A Nigerian delegation in company of their German partners got visibly emotional. Bystanders would have seen that they were holding Euro notes from a local ATM. Also noticeable would have been the pride in the faces of the whole group. The reason? A Nigerian citizen had just used a German ATM using his new multi-application identity card. It was, on many levels, an outstanding moment.

It is no coincidence that this event would take place close to the headquarter of cryptovision, one of the leading providers of secure electronic identity and digital information protection solutions. Founded as a spin-off of Essen University, the company specializes in modern cryptography methods and public key infrastructures (PKI) for government authorities and private commercial sectors. cryptovision was commissioned by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) to participate in developing the EAC (Extended Access Control) standard for electronic passports and played a key role in this project.

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New perspectives for eID & financial inclusion

hunger ProgramBy Frank Schmalz, Giesecke & Devrient (Oct 2014)

The status quo of financial inclusion is a large, international problem with two thirds of adults in most developing countries having no access to formal financial services. Globally, 2.5 billion and 76% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa are unbanked with no possibility to receive micro credits, insurance or securely store personal savings.

The national economics in the affected countries still largely depend on cash and struggle with the accompanied drawbacks of fraud, corruption, black economy and operation costs. Many emerging and developing countries have acknowledged the importance of the problem for bringing stability, wealth and perspectives to their countries’ citizens. National eIDs with payment functions can offer secure and efficient infrastructure schemes to support these efforts and to overcome many of the challenges.

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Securing sensitive data

presidential electionsBy Marcel Hartgerink, WIBU-SYSTEMS BV and Tom Kevenaar, GenKey (June 2014)

The use of biometric identification solutions are becoming more and more commonplace, delivering many advantages in the healthcare, financial, travel and immigration, government and many other commercial areas. The use of biometrics as a means to support fair elections is also becoming increasingly common, particularly in emerging democracies where often no up-to-date administration of citizens is available. It is for this reason that countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and the Democratic Republic
of Congo have adopted fingerprint-scanning technology to enable fair and transparent elections.

Ghana, for example, successfully deployed biometric voter registration and verification in their 2012 general elections involving more than 14 million voters. Biometric technology, however, brings its own particular social and technological challenges. Because biometrics affects an individual’s privacy and misuse in a political election could have significant ramifications to its citizens, it is critical that personal information remains secure, data is protected and software cannot be tampered with.

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Gabon’s national biometric identification initiative

GabonBy Stefane Mouille, Gemalto (Oct 2012)

With a population of 1.5 million, the Gabonese republic is among the more prosperous nations of Sub-Saharan Africa. The government has devised the “Emerging Gabon” development strategy to face future challenges. The strategy aims to transform Gabon into a more developed country by 2025, diversifying the economy through industrial development, expansion of the services sector and green growth.

Within the framework of this ambitious development, the Ministry of the Interior has made digital civil registry, improved electoral register accuracy and enhanced-security ID documents key priorities. These projects are seen as a matter of sovereignty and national security for the Gabonese republic and a new foundation for Gabonese citizenship. Achieving these goals will allow the country to pave the way for digital development in line with the three-year “Digital Gabon” plan, which forms part of the Emerging Gabon strategy.

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