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ID4Africa 2019, Day 2: InF4 and InF8

By Dr. Andrien Nestor Zouaka ID4Africa Ambassador/ Police Colonel, Expert, General Secretariat of CILDT, Ministry of Interior, Central African Republic


The free movement of people across borders has in recent decades witnessed a considerable increase as a result of globalization. This growth, which has not been inconsequential, de facto obliges states, in particular the structures in charge of migration management at the borders, to face unprecedented challenges. Thus, strategic adaptation is needed to better address this concern.

There is no doubt that the free movement of people across borders has a significant impact on sub regional, regional, continental and even global development. Migration and development, however, remain two terms that go hand in hand. Migration is a powerful tool for boosting development (areas of work, trade, investment and tourism).

From this point of view, in a rational approach at the end of the two sessions of the focus Migration & Borders (InF4 & InF8) which take place during the 5th conference of the ID4Africa movement held from 18 to 20 June 2019 in Johannesburg ( South Africa) under the theme: "Identity Ecosystems for Service Delivery", we will see how to facilitate this goal through innovative technologies, policies and business practices, while building on the latest experiences African countries and have made impressive progress in this regard.

First Approach: Biometrics of Borders

This is the digital transformation of borders to provide enhanced facilitation without compromising security. The use of biometric data is an essential element that allows not only to capitalize in time, but also and above all in efficiency.

In this regard, four experts presented during the focus on the following:

I. Benefits of biometrics for border control, theme developed by Expert Alexandre CASCHETTA, Sales Manager Solutions, Border Control and Road Safety, BU Government, Africa, Gemalto. In essence, there are six main factors driving the use of biometrics at the border:

  • Facilitation of passage: the number of air travelers increases from 3.8 to 7.2 billion today;

  • Emergence of the ePassport: More than one billion ePassports are in circulation, 500 million in 2013 to 1 billion in 2017, 57% of the total number of passports in circulation are electronic to date;

  • Security of the country: Detection of identity fraud or wanted persons; • Process optimization: Automation of self-service and processes;

  • Digital proof of identity: Biometric recognition technology;

  • Mobile SUPREMACY: mobile applications for airlines and airports (more mobile registration than terminal).

II. Streamline the journey of passengers with multifactorial biometrics, a theme presented by expert Donal GREENE, Regional Director, EMEA, Innovatrics. From this presentation, it should be noted that Innovatrics is an independent and trusted partner for biometric identity management technology;

III. Robust Passenger Identification Management to Streamline Border Control, a subject largely developed by Expert Ademola OLADELE, Security and Air Facilitation Officer, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which we believe Resolution A39 -20 Annexes gives mandate to ICAO for Facilitation Programs (2017-2019) where we find the following guidelines:

  • Development and implementation of facilitation provisions;

  • National and international action to ensure the safety and integrity of traveler identification and border controls;

  • National and international action and cooperation on facilitation;

  • Passenger data exchange. Three pillars include (ICAO Annex 9, Facilitation Strategy of the Traveler Identification Program (TRIP) and the ICAO Public Key Directory - PKD);

IV. How Identification Technologies Transform Border Experience in Africa, Theme Presented by expert Joby MATHEW, Sales Manager, Middle East, Africa and South Asia, Government Identification Solutions, HID Global. From this presentation we remember that air traffic can double in the next 20 years, it is important to develop new approaches necessary to manage the border crossing (Custom Design ... while creating secure solutions for passport control and borders). Example of three airports to be equipped (Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro).

Promote the all-in-one system for e-Visa, e-passport and e-resident permits as well as online ePassport applications in the country.

Second Approach: Automating Borders

One of the major challenges today is the automation of borders, although this seems an obvious and relevant prospect to consider. Increasingly complex, the issues at the management of entrances and exits on the territory, are transformed to absolute requirements which it is then appropriate to face.

In an attempt to address this concern, four other Experts have stated on the following:

V. Enhanced Frontiers: A Global Approach to Implementing Passport-Oriented, Passenger-Centered Border Control Solutions Based on Risk Analysis, Presented by Expert Emmanuel WANG, VP Border Control Directorate, IDEMIA According to him, biometry coupled with automation contributes to freedom of movement. There are three essential points:

  • Strengthen security (systematic use of biometrics, enhanced detection capacity of suspicious profiles, implementation of integrated systems improving the decision-making process);

  • Promote the economy (boost tourism by simplifying the visa process, modernizing infrastructure and processes for the benefit of citizens, attracting foreign investment);

  • Facilitate cross-border movements (community, national and foreigners, automate border crossing, facilitate future control and flow by continuously recording individuals' data).

VI. Rwanda's experience in strengthening facilitation and border security, a theme developed by the expert Richard MUGISHA, Head of Electronic Services at the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration (DGIE) Rwanda. From this presentation, we discover with satisfaction the success of the use of e-Gates at the Heavy Truck during the crossing at the Rwandan border and which allowed the safe passage of about 45,000 people per day. This beautiful experience illustrates the need for border automation.

VII. How technology can help governments to facilitate the free movement of people, subject exposed by Expert Céline GOUVEIA, Director Africa, Government Programs, IN Group. Points to remember from this presentation is that border control is a new challenge. In a world where globalization has increased dramatically, international trafficking raises many concerns about illegal immigration, high crime rates and terrorist threats, in addition to the effectiveness of border crossing. The challenge of any border control system is to solve these growing problems by strengthening border security, facilitating the treatment of passengers while respecting the values of society and the rights of citizens.

What do new technologies bring us?

  • Biometric identification data becomes central in border controls (Promoting the acceleration of national programs integrating biometrics: ePassport, electronic visas, pushing a better acceptance of biometrics by citizens, Biometric fusion lowers FRR / FAR and improve the reliability of authentication.

  • Strong integration of border control infrastructures and their interoperability will become widespread (Need to have a national vision of diplomas in real time International cooperation: between countries, countries / agencies ... will be crucial for the capacity of countries to detect risk profiles).

  • Pre-flighting of transient data will develop for an individualized risk analysis prior to border crossing (increased confidence / interest in data analysis technologies; Focus on collection, analysis, storage and dissemination of data, improve the level of security of controls and the time of passenger processing).

  • Smart border management helps to ensure national security while improving passenger flows.

VIII. Zambia's initiatives in the use of ICT to facilitate the movement of people, theme developed by Expert Denny LUNGU, Director General of Immigration, Immigration Department, Zambia. In essence, according to the General Directorate's mission of facilitating and regulating the movements of people entering and leaving the country and controlling the stay of immigrants and visitors in order to contribute to internal security and sustainable socio-economic development, the Zambia moved from the manual exploitation of identity data in 2005 to the introduction of the Immigration Management System (MISA), which continued through a series of upgrades, with the introduction of e-Visa in 2015 (online payment module added on March 22, 2018).


Of all the above, the free movement of people across borders is of interest to development despite the risks that it could mount. Although international traffic raises many concerns about illegal immigration, high crime rates and terrorist threats, biometrics and border automation remain a key factor in helping to minimize risks. Therefore, it is important to strike a balance between open borders and controlled boundaries. Facilitation is now an option but rather an obligation. These two sessions are accompanied by the following recommendations:

  • Assist African States to strengthen their border management and migration structures;

  • Encourage African states as far as possible to automate borders, as in Rwanda, Togo;

  • Strengthen international cooperation;

  • Harmonize national policies and practices internally and in a regional context to bring them in line with common international standards;

  • Encourage integrated border management through biometrics


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