Rwanda upgrades ID to multi-purpose smart card

Rwanda has launched the next phase of its National ID Project by contracting a British company, De La Rue, to develop a multi-purpose smart card.  According to project coordinator Pascal Nyamulinda, “The services offered will include identification, access to insurance services, bank services and immigration services. ”

The production of the cards has already started and they are expected be ready by the end of the year. “As we integrate the services, we will start with institutions that use electronic systems in their operations. So far only the immigration and emigration department are set for this,” Nyamulinda added. All biometric data required for the new card – digital picture, electric finger print and signature – have already been captured for the existing national identity cards which began to be issued in 2008. Over 95 percent of the population, including those in the diaspora, have already acquired this card.

via Rwandan Development Gateway, 17 Feb 2010

DNA and fingerprint databases for Ghanaian police

Ghanaian Vice President, John Mahama has hinted in an address to Police Chiefs meeting in Accra that plans are far advanced for the establishment of West Africa’s first Forensic Laboratory. “The construction of the forensic laboratory is going to take place and the police service will probably become the first in West Africa to begin DNA testing and to establish a DNA database in order that you can use that as a reference for your criminal policing and detection,” he said. He also said they intend to create a finger print database so that the Police will have database of known criminals so that they will be able to compare using modern technology rather than the current magnifying glass.

via Aglanu Dela Ernest at, 22 Jan 2010

Nigeria: Dispute over system for electronic transmission of corruption documents

The Chairman of the Nigerian Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola yesterday disagreed with the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes on the computerisation of the Commission for efficient transmission of both sensitive and non-sensitive documents, especially petitions.

Ayoola said that computerisation of the Commission would not amount to efficiency of the institution and would therefore want the N260 million (US$1.7m) proposed for it in the 2010 budget channeled to the recruitment and training of investigators to deal with the plethora of petitions pending at the Commission. “If you give me N260 million to achieve efficiency at the Commission, I would not use it on computerisation because there are petitions to be investigated and there are no personnel to investigate them.” He maintained that he would rather spend money on recruitment and training of investigators to deal with the several petitions that daily inundate the Commission.

But Chair of the Committee, Senator Sola Akinyede insisted that the Commission must be computerised, stressing that “N260 million is not too much as I believe that the Commission must be modernised. Akinyede, apparently surprised at Ayoola’s position, said: “I insist that you modernize the ICPC. You do not need to get people to be moving sensitive documents from Lagos to Abuja. “Documents can be scanned and sent via the internet and they would be received at the expected destination in less than five minutes. A lot of resources can be saved by this. Besides, it is faster and safer than sending documents by courier, which cumulatively is very expensive. The high cost of courier services can be pruned down and the money channeled into modernising.”

via Sufuyan Ojeifo of This Day on, 10 Dec 2009

Ghana’s national identity system on course

The Head of Public Affairs at the National Identification Authority (NIA), Bertha Dzeble, has assured Ghanaians that the Authority will soon establish offices in all ten regions of the country to register all those who in one way or the other, failed to be captured in the on-going registration exercise. “We will establish our district offices and people can, on a daily basis, just like the Birth and Death Registry, go and get registered. So it is not as if, maybe, if you don’t participate now, you are denied registration forever,” she stated.

According to her, the exercise currently going on in the Greater Accra Region has witnessed long queues and delays, leading some people to apportion blame at the doorstep of the NIA, whereas it is not. “There is only a certain number of people we can register a day with the machine, and we cannot exceed it. Also it takes quite some time for people who are filling the forms to get the correct information. We don’t rush them. It is actually delaying the process and creating some difficulty for us, so it takes a long time to process one person at a centre,” she stated.

Madam Dzeble said that after the creation of the national database, “many institutions both government and private, will be using it for the authentication and verification of personal data, and also use it to formulate data for this country to run effectively and develop faster than we have it in the past.”

via The Ghanaian Journal, 9 Dec 2009

South Africa resurrects Smart ID card project

The South African  Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will award the tender for its long-awaited smart ID card project within the current financial year. Following the cancellation of the project earlier this year, the DHA says it has requested National Treasury to restart the tender process. The department says, despite the delays, the smart card ID project is still one of its crucial plans. The DHA was mandated by Cabinet to replace the national identity document with a smart ID card. The smart cards, which will have embedded chips in them, are set to be used for a number of functions, such as the payment of pensions and social grants. Other possible uses are being considered.