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Mandatory SIM-ID link fever spreads as Namibia unveils registration dates

Mandatory SIM-ID link fever spreads as Namibia unveils registration dates
 

Namibians have from 1 January to 31 December 2023 to undergo mandatory SIM card registration with their ID, states the Communication Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN), according to the Namibia Economist. Unregistered SIMs will be deactivated in 2024.

The CRAN launched the SIM registration campaign in June 2022. The following month the country’s Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) began voluntary registration, reported RegTech Africa.

Emilia Nghikembua, chief executive of CRAN, told the Namibia Economist that the authority is satisfied with the current progress of the awareness raising campaign.

“The operators have equally expressed their satisfaction with the turnout of members of the public to register their SIM cards. At this stage, we envisage that the registration of all SIM cards will be completed well within the mandatory timelines i.e., 31 December 2023,” Nghikembua is quoted as saying.

This would be a markedly different trajectory to other countries that have enforced SIM registration, such as Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania. Rolling deadline extensions have marred the hopes of instigating rapid ID enrollment in order for people to register their SIMs, which would then help tackle fraud and crime for improved national security, the countries hope.

Namibians and foreign residents must bring national ID or passport as well as proof of address to whichever of the seven mobile service providers they use.

While not part of the official SIM registration campaign, in December 2020, the MTC launched ‘Verifi’ which uses face and fingerprints to authenticate users.

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