The Botswanan government is planning to embark on a multi-million pula project to digitise the national identity card system by 2016.
The Department of Civil and National Registration believes the conversion of the current national identity documents (ID) to electronic or digital cards will minimise the challenges of production delays as well as fraud and forgery.
Botswana deported a large number of Zimbabwean nationals last year, who had entered the country using fraudulent national ID cards.
“The development is anticipated to start in 2016 or before, if things go according to our plan. Currently it takes 14 days for an ID to be produced due to a number of factors but the new system will shorten the time to a few days, including delivery of the cards to the public,” said Neo Lepang, Director of the Department of Civil and National Registration.
According to Lepang, the digital ID cards proposal has been accepted by the government and it is already in the planning phase.
“My officers are busy with logistics and strategies on how the old ID card will be phased out to pave the way for the new one,” said Lepang.
Other than implementing civil ID cards, important governmental departments such as hospital and police together with important private institutions will also be registered on the digital ID card system.