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“Cameroon introduces new ID cards”
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“Cameroon introduces new ID cards”

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Medjom Colbie

Cameroon is introducing new national ID cards to its citizens, writes Medjom Colbie, 23, a Correspondent from Yaounde in Cameroon, who explains how a decree signed in August marks the beginning of a secured system and a campaign for the identification card.

According to the decree of 04 August, 2016, describing the procedures and the delivery of the national ID cards, the card is a polycarbonate, laminated and secured pre-printed document. It is also computerised, biometric, personal, and contains an electronic chip.

The new national ID, unlike the former one, will contain “Republic of Cameroon” in English and French in green capital letters on the front of the document, the flag of Cameron on the left upper side, the electronic chip slightly on the side of the flag, “National Identity Card” and the name(s), surname(s), date of birth, sex, height, profession, signature,and photo of the card’s owner, the coat of arms of the State in the centre, a clear window below and to the left of the document and a micro text.

Overleaf, the card contains the name of the father, mother, and distinguished features of the holder, the holder’s address, and signature, as well as the name of the signatory authority,  date of delivery, expiry date, post of identification, unique ID number, a clear window with the serial number of the card, Mount “Kapsiki” overhanging  landscapes of the country, and “CAMEROON” at the foot of the card in bold type.

The official launch of the operation comes days after the signature of a contract between the GEMALTO, the company in charge of producing the new ID cards and the general delegation for national security. For that purpose, the secretary general at the presidency of the republic, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh has proceeded to the inauguration of the centre where the production of the new cards took place on August 9th in Yaoundé. The centre is equipped with two machines set up to produce 600 ID cards per hour.

This presidential decision comes as the answer to the question of document falsification in Cameroon, which has become a considerable social plague. According to Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, that system is a means to counter the forged documents.

Also, the new system will help the general delegation for national security to produce crime statistics and trace records of suspects. This action will be possible due to the presence of an electronic chip on the card.

With that technology it is now possible to check the identity of a citizen. During inauguration of the production centre, the assistant-director of computer at the general delegation of national security, Zanga Herman, did a demonstration of identity checking. He explained that to check the ownership of a national ID card, the concerned is subjected to imprints checking. Once the person has put his finger on the device planned for the purpose, either green or red will appear on the screen. If it shows green, that means the person is really the holder of the card, but showing red means the person may be either wanted or the card has been declared lost.

Time-saving is another aspect of the ID cards. The fact that the two machines set up for the production of the new national identity cards will make 600 ID cards per hour reduces the period of wait of the card’s delivery from what was months to just three weeks now.

Furthermore, the opportunity of producing computerised cards makes Cameroon a privileged beneficiary of the advances technology and software that, according to GEMALTO, is a system many countries are highly soliciting.

In addition to the Yaoundé centre of production, an annex centre will be created in Garoua, in the North region. As well, 50 mobile posts of identification will be created over the country before the end of the year. However, former ID cards can still be used till the date of expiration, unless the owner wants to change it to obtain the new one.

photo credit: Security IT Symbol Picutre Bild – DATA vor Nullen und Einsen mit Fingerabdruck via photopin (license)
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About me: I am a student of Mass Communication in Yaounde. I am impassioned with journalism and interested in other communication fields. I spend my free time writing, not for my personal interest only, and feel comfortable reporting on newsworthy and feature stories. I also run a personal blog.

My wish is to be a talented reporter in all fields and to achieve what can be summed up in only two words: work hard. To me, the best is still to come.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

 

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