Credence ID CEO joins U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on Africa

Bruce Hanson, CEO of Credence ID, has been appointed to the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, the company said Monday in a statement released at the ID4Africa 2019 conference in Johannesburg.

Speaking to Biometric Update at the event, Hanson explained some of the reasoning for the first selection of an ID company. “ID is something to be advocated for, it’s a way for other U.S. industries in Africa such as banking, healthcare and pharmaceuticals. It’s core to businesses to know who you’re transacting with”.

Credence ID was asked to consider joining the council after working closely with the Department of Commerce and State Department, initially on a single project in Kenya.

The Doing Business in Africa Council is made up of business leaders who feedback on the situation on the ground in Africa to secretary of commerce, Wilber Ross, who advises the president. The Trump Administration also launched the Prosper Africa initiative in December 2018 to boost trade and develop markets on the continent and also counter China’s fast-growing presence. Other board members have included GE, Caterpillar, Visa and Black Rhino.

According to Hanson, as well as dealing with very different business practices across Africa, the council also advises on America’s own legislation surrounding trading with the continent. For example, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) which requires export approval process for all projects, which can hamper speed and competitivity with other countries also selling to Africa. Trump himself is a critic of the act. Altogether, U.S.-Africa trade is highly challenging, according to Hanson, “The business practices are so difficult – destructive – so the duty of the committee is to identify these and improve.”

Credence ID is expecting to run more projects in West Africa following its public healthcare project in Senegal. The company created an entire ecosystem for biometric-controlled access to the country’s universal health system. The scheme reduced exploitation and the resulting black market. “The management of the devices is more important than the devices themselves,” said Hanson of his firm’s Credence Connect platform. It provides central back-end overview of all 1,250 mobile devices deployed in the scheme including usage and location, plotting them on a map and even geofencing them in case of theft.

Biometric Update will continue providing daily and in-depth coverage from ID4Africa 2019 throughout the event as Official Journalist, plus follow-up coverage of the annual event’s key themes.

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