Cameroon seals deal to set up biometric visa system with Ivorian supplier
Cameroon will begin the issuance of biometric visas and consular cards from June 1 this year if things go as planned.
This follows the signing of a partnership contract on April 1 in Yaounde between the Ministry of External Relations and Impact Palmarès R&D, the enterprise that will provide the solution to run the system.
Biometric visas are visas that require applicants to submit some of their biometric information such as fingerprints or facial image at the time of applying for the travel pass.
According to the terms of the contract, as explained during the signing ceremony, Impact Palmarès R&D – a Cote d’Ivoire-based company that deals in security and identity solutions as well as data analysis – will conceive, design, finance and implement the biometric visa system.
At the signing ceremony, External Relations Minister Mbella Mbella said the move is part of efforts by the government to modernize Cameroon’s travel documents issuance system, and to bring the country’s diplomatic services up to speed with the realities of the moment.
Going by the contract, the solution provider will install state-of-the-art equipment for the production of the visas and consular cards, and will also be expected to train staff in Cameroon’s consular services on how to operate and maintain the system.
The equipment will be installed in all of Cameroon’s embassies and consular posts, while a data center will also be built where the biometric information of visa applicants will be safely stored, the company says.
The President of the group, Girèsse Justin Tella, says it will put in place a system that will ensure the issuance of visas with advanced security features to combat fraud. He also disclosed that a platform will be established where visa applicants can process their requests entirely online.
Tella congratulated Cameroon on the decision to modernize its visa issuance system and gave assurances that his company will do all it takes to provide the best of services for the country.
Details about how much the contract is worth and how long it will run were not disclosed.
The move to modernize and digitize the issuance of Cameroon’s visas comes not long after the government introduced a new biometric passport system. The system, which went operational on July 1, 2021, has significantly expedited the hitherto slow and cumbersome passport issuance process. Now, passport applicants are issued the document within just 48 hours after applying for it.
There have also been other announcements by state authorities in the past about the introduction of a system for the issuance of biometric residence permits as well as a new generation biometric national ID system.