While most preparations are complete and equipment is in place to generate the long awaited smartcard, this cannot be availed until the necessary legal framework is in order, an official at the National ID project announced yesterday.
The smart card – an electronic multi-purpose card meant to connect services including identification, access to insurance and banking services, super-markets, hospitals (e-Health) and medical insurance is likely to be operational in the course of this year.
Pascal Nyamulinda, the coordinator of the National ID project, told The New Times on Sunday that apart from the technical phase of the project, there was also a requisite legal framework.
“There is a legal framework to consider – government will adopt a ministerial order to determine the specifications of the card. The smart card will have its own specifications,” Nyamulinda said.
“Unlike the present national ID which has what we call a bar code with hidden information, the smart card will have a chip”.
“We are now working on how to update them – we are working on how to make sure that updating of the smartcards is done well,” he added.
Since the issue of the legal framework is out of his scope, Nyamulinda could not specify when the cards would be ready for distribution.
“It is not easy to say when, because there are issues which don’t depend on us. What I think is that this year, the smart card will be issued.”
A UK based firm, De-la Rue, in partnership with the National ID Project, is working on the project.