A man's fingerprints are recorded in Gabon

Biometric ID to prevent Gabon registration fraud

A West African state is rolling out a national biometric ID programme to create a secure electoral register.

Digital security specialist Gemalto has been selected to implement the programme following an international tender.

Gemalto is supplying a biometric citizen enrolment system including desktop and mobile stations with the related software to capture citizens’ demographic data, fingerprints and digital photographs. Fingerprint matching capabilities will guarantee the uniqueness of each entry.

Coupled with the data capture system, Gemalto’s Coesys Issuance software and hardware will enable the Gabonese government to personalise future official documents, while a Public Key Infrastructure will create a trusted backbone for future eGovernment services.

The biometric database will serve as a master registry to issue all citizen ID, including birth certificates, national identity cards, passports and driving licences. Tamper-proof biometric authentication will be instrumental to preventing fraud and abuse of government benefits programmes.

“This project is a matter of sovereignty and national security for the Gabonese Republic,” said Jean-François Ndongou, Minister of Interior. “This initiative will slash identity fraud, strengthen transparency in elections and contribute to reinforcing representative democracy.”

“The creation of a biometric national registry in Gabon marks a major milestone for Central Africa,” added Ari Bouzbib, senior vice president at Gemalto. “Following the successful enrolment of beneficiaries of the National Health Insurance in 2009, this new programme underlines the success of the nation’s ‘Emerging Gabon 2025’ strategy. Customer proximity and local presence are essential in such a large strategic project.”

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