Launch of Securitized Biometric ID Cards is Today

As ECOWAS Approves Specifications…

National Identity Card

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

The National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) has ensured that the first Biometric Multi-Purpose ID Cards for Citizens, ECOWAS Nationals and other Foreign Residents have securitized features that meet international standards which holders could be proud of.

It must be noted that a formal contact was initiated with the Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS) through its Director of Free Movement of Persons and Migration Department, Albert Siaw-Boateng, to provide technical guidance and specifications for the ECOWAS ID Card.

In response to the Director General’s request, the ECOWAS Director of Free Movement of Persons and Migration, Albert Siaw-Boateng confirmed in a correspondence dated 22nd April, 2020 with reference SLHC/ABJ/ECW/225/020/036, “I hereby forward the attached ECOWAS Biometric Identity Card (ENBIC) specifications for your information and necessary action”.

Following receipt of the ECOWAS specifications, the NCRA in collaboration with its partners including the European Union Technical Assistance Team continued with progress that culminated into the design and development of the ID Cards that is consistent with international standards.

The NCRA will launch the Multi-Purpose ID Cards and ID Verification System to address the perennial challenge residents of Sierra Leone have endured for nearly a decade for lack of identity sometimes causing deprivation to access critical services in the country.

It must be noted that the ECOWAS Commission was to review the design done by Sierra Leone and to advise its compliance with ECOWAS specifications which were done.

Sierra Leoneans, according to the NCRA, are assured that the ID Cards are of high quality with resounding security features and specifications that are in line with international standards which allow holders of such ID Cards unfettered movement within ECOWAS member counties as well as guarantee migration and trade integration; a principle behind the introduction of and use of a common ID within the ECOWAS sub region.

The NCRA expressed appreciation to the ECOWAS Director of Free Movement and the European Union for their technical support throughout the process.

According to the Director-General of the NCRA, President Julius Maada Bio will officially launch the production of ID Cards (ECOWAS, National and Non-National) on the 30th January, 2023.

Access to ID Cards will be decentralized and holding a National Identity Card is mandatory with a life span of five years. The Non-National Identity Card is also mandatory, has a life span of one year and is required for Residential and Work Permits.



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