The federal government is in the process of launching an ultramodern national identification card issuance system that experts in the field are estimating to cost the country nearly one billion Birr, Fortune learnt.
Seven international IT vendors and security solutions providers are now bidding to win the contract which requires the setting of infrastructure for national ID issuance and administration, which aims at identifying each of the 84 million citizens in the country uniquely. The system will be designed to collect textual and biometrical data of every citizen in a bid to verify individual’s identity, detecting and matching physical characteristics.
This will thus replace the current manual identification cards issued at Kebeles – and most recently Woredas – with electronic identification procedure which experts say addresses a rather flawed security structure.
The electronic IDs will be designed to contain fingerprints and principal residence of the individual, number and signature of the holder. Unlike the current ID, the national electronic IDs will not specify the linguistic cultural (ethnic) origin of the individual but citizenship, according to a source close to the project.