GOVERNMENT CASE STUDY
More than 500 million people in sub-Saharan Africa cannot officially prove their
identity. Is there any viable way to overcome the
obstacles to nationwide registration in developing contexts?
The World Economic Forum states that over 500 million people in Africa's
developing economies don't have any formal documentation. While many
African governments want to implement proper identification systems,
there are major hurdles which have halted the process.
To register the population of a typical developing African nation would
require a mobile product that is rugged and which could handle extremes
of temperature and humidity. It would also have to work independently of
any outside power source, ideally having its own power generation
capabilities. In terms of mobility, it would need to be small and lightweight
enough to transport easily over long distances in poor road conditions.
In countries around the world, voting is an elaborate process that begins in advance with the registration of voters. This is a challenging and time-consuming process in itself, as voters are scattered across all regions of a country. Authorities require
hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of agents to register the entire voting population.
BioRugged was approached by the electoral commission of a specific country in Africa to come up with a solution for a device that could perform biometric registration of voters in an expedient way.
THE MARK 3: MAKING
All of the above factors have been addressed in the Mark 3 kit, used in Cameroon and
Ivory Coast in 2019. The IP65 Mark 3 has its own power supply with 8 hours of continuous operation. For charging, instead of relying on the national electricity grid, it makes use of solar power via its own included solar panel.
The unit is lightweight (under 10kg) and has even successfully travelled via motorcycle to the most remote regions. The unit is able to capture passport quality photos, scan any available reference
documents like birth certificates and proof of address, and fast-enrol 10 fingerprints through the biometric scanner. Built-in GPS records coordinates where there is no recordable address.
Temporary cards with embedded NFC chips can be issued immediately to those who register.