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AfricaMoney | August 20, 2017

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Mauritius ID cards ride on Singapore’s secure

Mauritius ID cards ride on Singapore’s secure, cutting-edge technology

(L to R) G Pavaday, Project Manager, Central Informatics Bureau (CIB), R Ramah, Project Director, Mauritius National Identity Scheme, Tassarajen Chedumbrum Pillay, Minister of Information Technology and Communication and R Hawabhay, Acting Director, CIB brief media on the new card (Source: www.portlouis.mu)

Mauritius’ Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam launched the eagerly awaited new National Identity Card on September 17 at the commercial district of Cybercity, Ebène.  The Mauritius National Identity Scheme (MNIS), estimated to have cost Rs 1.1 billion, was implemented in collaboration with the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE), a Singapore government entity, which has roped in Singapore-based e-government solutions provider CrimsonLogic for execution.

CrimsonLogic will be rolling out the national ID scheme, along the lines of Singapore’s ‘pink identity card’, for the country. Singapore is highly acclaimed in the e-government sphere – having recently topped the international egovernment ranking – riding on the technological expertise of home-brands like CrimsonLogic. The company’s forte lies in exporting IT solutions in the areas of trade, legal and e-citizen services.

Riding on Singapore’s expertise in e-services, the efficient and secure system of identification and authentication under the MNIS ensures the government access to reliable and secure citizen data. The scheme also guarantees safety of data to citizens, with cutting-edge features such as an encrypted chip. The MNIS also covers new systems and infrastructure including a state-of-the-art secure data centre hosted by the Government Online Centre at the CyberCity, Ebène.

While unveiling the smart card, the Prime Minister emphasized the need to adopt the latest technology, underlining that Mauritius ranks first in the Digital Opportunity Index and the Digital Readiness Index in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ramgoolam also cautioned citizens to keep security at the fore even while embracing innovation, as the actual ID card can easily be tampered with.

With the present ID card scheme dating back to 1986, the smart cards give a much-needed technological makeover to the existing ID card. The new polycarbonate cards have an embedded chip which ensures that ID number, surname, first name, surname at birth, gender, date of birth, residential address, fingerprints minutiae, and digital certificate are securely carried as encrypted data. Citizens above 18 years of age are eligible for smart cards.

A person applying for the new card must report to one of the 10 Conversion centres across the island with a birth certificate, marriage certificate, old ID card and proof of address. The new ID card can be collected within two weeks of the registration date.

 The distribution exercise will start from October 2013 and end in September 14. A pilot phase covering 1,325 people, namely employees of ministries and private sector, started on September 16 and will continue till month-end. Those aged between 18 to 22 years will be able to register themselves between the months of October to November 2013; 23 to 33 year-olds will be covered from December 2013 to January 2014; those between 34 to 44 years will be able to register between February and March 2014; 45 to 55 year-olds will be covered from April to May while for those aged between 56 years and above, the conversion period is between June to July 2014.

Source: Government of Mauritius

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