Botswana’s Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs has placed an order for ICAO-compliant passports with embedded biometrics from Veridos, extending a long-standing partnership.
Applications can be completed and biometrics enrolled by citizens of Botswana at 28 locations around the country and personalised in the capital, Gaborone. They can be issued as quickly as the same day, in some urgent cases. Botswana was the first country in Southern Africa to introduce electronic passports, according to the announcement, with Giesecke+Devrient, which now owns 60 per cent of Veridos, supplying them. Since then, Veridos has routinely supplied Botswana’s chip-enabled passports, which virtually no attempts have been made to forge, the company says.
Botswana was the first country in Southern Africa to introduce ePassports in 2009. These highly secure and ICAO-compliant ePassports have gone through multiple enhancements since they were first delivered over a decade ago. Virtually no attempts have been made to forge Botswana’s ePassports.
Biometric data stored on the passport’s chip is protected by Extended Access Control (EAC), Veridos says. The deal was reached through the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, and Veridos’ relationship with the government also extends to the provision of data enrolment and personalisation systems, as well as identity document readers for border control. Veridos also operates a local branch in the country to provide service and maintenance. Botswana participates in the ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD) to enable efficient global exchanges of biometric authentication information through a central repository.
“The introduction of ePassports, our border control system and our ICAO PKD participation all underline Botswana’s striving for excellence in making travel more secure and efficient,” states Botswana Director of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Caroline Okello-Wengi. “With Veridos, we have found the right partner to support us in that regard.”
“At Veridos we are proud of our long-standing partnership with Botswana,” comments Veridos Global Vice President of Sales Claudio Sgarlata. “Our local presence underscores our commitment and allows us to react quickly to any customer needs.”
Pangea was selected by Botswana’s government for an eVisa contract earlier this year.