The UK-based De-La-rue has won an $18 million tender to work on Rwanda’s identity card project. The company which brought in sophisticated equipments to finish the work is now capturing biometric data in which a digital picture, electronic fingerprint and signature are included.
The government has registered 5.3 million Rwandans above 16 years who will be given new national identity cards. The government has decided to fund the project but every card holder will be obliged to pay Rwf500 (US$0.9) to get it. A chip will be installed in these smart cards to make sure the information about the service providers such as the banks, insurance companies and revenue authority corresponds with the information on the identity card.
The ID will be swiped through an electronic machine that will read the information on the card and the fingerprints. Rwanda will be the first country on the continent to issue smart cards though Senegal and South Africa have the first phase of the electronic national identity cards, according to a report by East African Business Week.