Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Botswana Introduces Electronic Passports

Botswana to introduce electronic passports

MUNICH, Germany -- The government of Botswana has awarded a contract to Giesecke & Devrient for the manufacture and delivery of 150,000 electronic passports, according to a news release. G&D also will supply the data acquisition and personalization systems for travel documents.

In addition, the Munich-based technology company will be delivering Botswana's border control system with card readers. The contract was signed in Gaborone, the country's capital. It will take two years to implement the system, with passports scheduled for issue to the citizens of Botswana from 2010. The contract is worth roughly 15 million euros (U.S. $19.3 million).

Botswana is the first South African country to introduce the electronic passport.

"We are proud that the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs has entrusted us with this demanding project," said Hans Wolfgang Kunz, head of G&D's government solutions business. "The new electronic passport will fulfill the extensive ICAO and EU specifications and achieve international recognition and validity. In conjunction with an efficient border-control system, it will ensure Botswana is well prepared to meet the increasing security requirements of international travel."

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