Zetes Industries has announced the start in production of the new biometric passport for the Republic of Ivory Coast. The first new biometric passport was presented on July 30th, at an official ceremony.
Zetes also officially opened its first local office in Africa (“Zetes Côte d’Ivoire or Zetes CI), initially employing 25 staff. As planned, the personalisation site was operational just 4 months after the contract was signed.
Zetes CI was selected as the exclusive technical partner of SNEDAI (Société Nationale d’Edition de Documents Administratifs et d’Identification - National Publishing Company for Administrative and Identification Documents) and granted a 15-year concession. The Republic of Ivory Coast opted in favour of an electronic biometric passport in line with the recommendation by ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States) that all member states have to replace their present passports with more secure passports.
SNEDAI and Zetes CI have been actively preparing for the official launch of the project and developed a high security personalisation site in Abidjan. This site centralises, in digital format, all the data needs to personalise the passports: photo, names, address, fingerprints and signature of the bearer.
Besides the central personalisation site, local registration offices where citizens can request their passports and register their personal data, have also been set up. Three enrolment centres have already opened their doors in Abidjan. Other centres will be set up later on in various cities and Ivorian embassies abroad. Each of these registration offices features fingerprints scanners, computers a photo booth and equipment to digitally store signatures.
The enrolment centers register the biographic (civil status) and biometric (fingerprints and photography) data of the petitioner. These data are then encrypted and sent electronically to the personalisation office, which centralises all the data, controls their uniqueness thanks to AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) technology and personalises the passports.
Zetes CI estimates it will produce around two hundred thousand passports per year (5 years validity period) for the entire population of about 18 million. The project will have a duration of 15 years and should generate, over this period, a revenue of more than 60 million euros for Zetes CI.