New ID cards: What to expect

21 October 2021 | Ministries

Home affairs minister Albert Kawana said the new national identification cards (IDs) that government is set to introduce, can be used as travel documents with neighbouring countries and make border crossing easier.

Kawana said this in the National Assembly while responding to questions from Popular Democratic Movement MP Nico Smit.

Smit wanted to know why it was necessary for government to design and print new ID cards without informing the public and how much it would cost to acquire the new ID cards.

This came after the ministry announced that Cabinet approved the issuing of new look IDs.

Kawana said the only changes on the new ID cards are the removal of the fingerprint and the barcode on the reverse of the card, which will be replaced by a Quick Response Code and a Machine-Readable Zone, as well as the inclusion of new features that are in line with international best practices recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Therefore, Namibia can consider the use of the new ID cards as travel documents with neighbouring countries and make border crossing easier.

“While this is subject to agreements with neighbouring countries, a number are already working towards this objective. On our side, we are ready. Additionally, these two new features will be embedded with selected details that appear on the ID card to enable secure authentication of a person’s identity. It will make it easier to detect forged IDs. I have no doubt that a number of institutions such as banks and insurance companies will welcome the new cards because they will go a long way to protect themselves from fraudulent activities,” said Kawana.

He added that government will not spend extra money on the printing of new IDs and the public will not pay any costs either.

– Nampa

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