Assessment of new IDs complete
Namibia and Botswana are about to formalize the use of identity documents to travel between the two countries.
In November 2021, President Hage Geingob launched the new ID card, which he described as a great new start that will enable the free movement of people across Africa, which he says is a key part of African unity as the identity card will be used as a passport to travel to other African countries.
Geingob and his Botswanan counterpart, Mokgweetsi Masisi, have already agreed that the IDs could be used to travel between the two countries. The fingerprint system on the old ID will be replaced with a Quick Response Code (QRC) and the barcode will be replaced with a Machine Readable Zone (MRZ).
Asked about the state of progress of this process before its formalization, the executive director of internal affairs, Etienne Maritz, said New era that the two governments carried out an evaluation in December 2021 and that the public will be informed in due course of its implementation.
Maritz mentioned that the new ID is more secure because the quick response code and machine-readable zone will contain material that will be read by a machine and is not easy to tamper with.
Furthermore, he noted that the new ID can be used as a travel document in the future and is compatible with the specifications of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Moreover, the new ID can be linked to the adoption of electronic governance.
In his New Year’s message, Geingob said Namibia will need to diversify its portfolio of economic activities into strategic sectors, which can support the country’s access to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and market. global.
“The diversification of economic products, including finished products, and unique services will allow us to protect ourselves against external risks and shocks. To achieve this, we need to reorganize and re-skill our workforce. If there’s one thing this past year has taught us, it’s that you have to adapt, grow or die. Therefore, to prepare ourselves to benefit from the AfCFTA and continental integration, we are taking initial steps to strengthen regional integration,” he said.
One of those steps, Geingob says, is the introduction of new IDs with advanced features for nationals, residents and refugees.
Thus, Namibia and Botswana are working on the use of identity documents for travel between the two countries, to be implemented after the formalization of the process.
“We in Namibia, as pioneers, have decided to refer to the refugee ID card as a document for African guests, because Namibia is part of Africa and we cannot designate our compatriots as refugees. It should be noted that Namibia was the first country to host the African Union flag and sing the African Union anthem. We are now the first country to affirm a pan-African vision of refugees as guests of Namibia.
These steps will, among other things, enable Namibia to do business with the rest of the continent in a transparent manner and with fewer obstacles,” Geingob noted.
At the launch in November, Home Affairs and Immigration Minister Albert Kawana said the ministry continues to innovate, so new measures have also been put in place to ensure continuity. civil registration and identity management.
A number of African countries have already adopted the new ID look. These include Botswana, South Africa, Malawi, Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Mauritius, Zambia, Sao Tome and Principe, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Niger and Sierra Leone.