Biometric Passport for Tighter Immigration and Border Control in Tanzania

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Tanzania adds its name on the list of countries using biometric passport since the launch of their new biometric passport on January. This makes Tanzania the second East African Community (EAC) member country to deploy the e-passport system after Kenya who was the first to deploy biometric passport on September last year. The launch was supervised by Tanzanian President Dr. John Magufuli himself. He pioneered the process since the country was facing some issues with immigration services and this system will finally resolve all those issues, he said.

Tanzania is moving towards rigid control over immigration and border control. The President of the country hence ordered to develop strategies for illegal immigrants and he also said to take actions against regional immigrant officers if they fail to perform their duty.

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With the new machine readable passport, personal data is more than secure and it is impossible to copy any sorts of data, said by Commissioner General of the Immigration Department, Dr. Anna Makakala. She also said that it will last longer than regular non machine readable passports. The implementation of the project started in September 2017 to finish the first phase within January this year, she added.

Biometric passports are specially designed that has a computer microchip attached in it along with an antenna that powers the chip and communicates. The micro chip contains biometric information of the passport holder and thus it is used to correctly ensure the identity of the individual. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) procedure is being used to authenticate data which makes it very costly to make such a chip. Moreover, if the system is maintained correctly, it is quite impossible to duplicate data. Number of countries using biometric passport is rapidly increasing. In December 2008, total number of countries using biometric passport was 60, and it increased to 120 on June 2017.

In her press release Dr. Makalala wrote that all those who wish to have the new passport have to have a national identity. All the non MR passports will be invalid by 2020. This will enhance the security of the country and also will help maintain peace and coordination among immigration activities.

Countries like Tanzania struggles with these sorts of projects because these systems are hard to develop, implement and costs millions of dollars. To solve border or immigration related issues, the M2SYS SecuredPass™ is the best solution. This system maximizes security and efficiency and minimizes painstaking long-term development of tremendous border control system. With the help of SecuredPass™, a country can easily monitor their airports, docks or borders. This system also merges with all the visa application points and is linked to a central national level database.

Every biometric passport has the unique fingerprint or facial structure of the holder stored in it that is matched with the database and the holder immediately to confirm identity. Also everytime this data is matched with a new entry to confirm that no two passports are being issued for the same person. SecuredPass™, uses the M2SYS biometric software that can identify and match fingerprints or facial structures from millions of biometric data within seconds. With the Hybrid Biometric Platform and M2SYS AFIS or ABIS system, SecuredPass™ is accurate, efficient and the quickest tool for any agency. Accessible from all the points this system highly helps the law enforcement agencies to maintain security and is a total nightmare for illegal trespassers.

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Masum Shibli

Business Development Analyst, M2SYS Technology

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