Uganda tight­ens visa se­cu­rity

East African Business Week - - NEWS - By PAUL TENTENA

KAMPALA, UGANDA - Ge­malto the world leader in dig­i­tal se­cu­rity, is sup­ply­ing Uganda’s Direc­torate of Ci­ti­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Con­trol (DCIC) with its Coesys Visa Man­age­ment that com­bines swift is­suance of all visas and per­mits with bio­met­ric en­roll­ment upon ar­rival.

It is sup­port­ing the new so­lu­tion with in­te­gra­tion, de­ploy­ment, main­te­nance and train­ing for Ugan­dan im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers. The new scheme al­lows the au­thor­i­ties to man­age the en­tire visa life cy­cle from ap­pli­ca­tion to is­suance. It will help the coun­try achieve its goals to fa­cil­i­tate travel, en­hance na­tional se­cu­rity and pro­tect a trav­eler’s iden­tity against theft. “Ge­malto an­swered our need for a strong, se­cure so­lu­tion, based on in­ter­na­tional stan­dards and in line with Uganda’s ob­jec­tive to fa­cil­i­tate travel,” said Com­mis­sioner Mr. An­thony Na­mara, Project Co­or­di­na­tor at The De­part­ment of Ci­ti­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Con­trol. “Ge­malto Coesys Visa Man­age­ment pro­vides a fast and flex­i­ble re­sponse to the chal­lenge of large-scale re­gional mi­gra­tion.” “This new project puts Uganda at the fore­front of en­hanced im­mi­gra­tion so­lu­tions in East Africa,” said Ari Bouzbib, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent of Govern­ment Pro­grams at Ge­malto. “The new sys­tem also fits with the re­gional ini­tia­tive to de­ploy a sin­gle tourist visa pro­gram across Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. This en­ables Ugan­dan au­thor­i­ties to read­ily iden­tify trav­el­ers and re­in­force na­tional se­cu­rity.” This turnkey so­lu­tion in­cor­po­rates a con­ve­nient on­line por­tal to ap­ply for visas and per­mits at any time prior to travel. Le­git­i­mate vis­i­tors re­ceive their Elec­tronic Travel Au­tho­riza­tion (ETA) by email. Upon ar­rival in Uganda, vis­i­tors get their visas af­ter ETA check, ver­i­fi­ca­tion of pass­ports and the col­lec­tion of their bio­met­ric data (fin­ger­prints) to uniquely match trav­el­ers to the doc­u­ments they are pre­sent­ing. Ge­malto’s so­lu­tion in­cludes a link to an in­te­grated con­trol list from lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional sources and alert sys­tem to de­tect and man­age undesirable ap­pli­cants. It also cre­ates a cen­tral­ized trav­eler data­base se­cured by an Au­to­matic Fin­ger­print Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Sys­tem (AFIS) to share, search and match elec­tronic fin­ger­prints ac­ces­si­ble by au­thor­i­ties all over the coun­try. Launched on July 1st2016, the new on­line visa por­tal sig­nif­i­cantly im­proves the ex­pe­ri­ence of trav­el­ing to Uganda and sup­port the coun­try’s grow­ing busi­ness and tourism sec­tors. With in­creased mi­gra­tion across East Africa, Ugan­dan au­thor­i­ties can en­sure that visas are is­sued to bona fide ap­pli­cants. With in­creased mi­gra­tion across East Africa bring­ing se­cu­rity is­sues, Ugan­dan au­thor­i­ties wanted to re­in­force bor­der se­cu­rity, start­ing with Visa. The chal­lenge was to en­sure the se­cu­rity mea­sures would not jeop­ar­dize the trav­el­ers’ ex­pe­ri­ence. Charles Me­vaa, Vice Pres­i­dent Govern­ment Pro­grams in Africa at Ge­malto said the new so­lu­tion doesn’t only bring se­cu­rity, based on bio­met­ric au­then­ti­ca­tion on ar­rival, but also stream­line pro­cesses and en­able visas to be de­liv­ered quicker with high se­cu­rity stan­dards/level. It also brings en­hance con­ve­nience to vis­i­tors trav­el­ing to Uganda, who can now ap­ply for their Visa on­line and se­curely pay in a few clicks by log­ging onto the Uganda e-im­mi­gra- tion sys­tem, which is live since July 2016. “Af­ter hav­ing filled an on­line form, the visa re­quest is be­ing pro­cessed and once ap­proved, trav­el­ers re­ceive their Elec­tronic Travel Au­tho­riza­tion (ETA) by email. Upon ar­rival in Uganda, vis­i­tors get their visas af­ter ETA check, ver­i­fi­ca­tion of pass­ports and the col­lec­tion of their bio­met­ric data (fin­ger­prints) to uniquely match trav­el­ers to the doc­u­ments they are pre­sent­ing. “Such sys­tem is not only bring­ing more con­ve­nience to trav­el­ers but en­able the Uganda im­mi­gra­tion ser­vices a more se­cure mon­i­tor­ing of all ap­pli­cants be­fore ar­rival. It also en­able Ugan­dan au­thor­i­ties to read­ily iden­tify trav­el­ers and cre­ates a cen­tral­ized trav­eler data­base se­cured by an Au­to­matic Fin­ger­print Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Sys­tem (AFIS) to share, search and match elec­tronic fin­ger­prints. Such data­base is ac­ces­si­ble by au­thor­i­ties all over the coun­try and re­in­force na­tional se­cu­rity. “The first phase of the project was to han­dle elec­tronic visa and more phases are to come, to de­liver state of the art bor­der con­trol se­cu­rity while of­fer­ing an easy trav­el­ers ex­pe­ri­ence. He said they have a strong ex­per­tise in elec­tronic visa man­age­ment and bor­der con­trol so­lu­tions and have con­trib­uted to date to over 10 de­ploy­ment world­wide. “We de­ployed such so­lu­tion in Ar­gentina, Gabon, Croa­tia, Nor­way, etc…. and are cur­rently de­ploy­ing an in­te­grated visa and bor­der man­age­ment sys­tem in Ghana, and were re­cently awarded for the de­ploy­ment of egates at the Charles De Gaulle Paris air­port. With such so­lu­tion, Uganda ben­e­fits from the most ad­vanced and se­cure evisa sys­tem from the en­tire East Africa re­gion.”

The first phase of the project was to han­dle elec­tronic visa and more phases are to come, to de­liver state of the art bor­der con­trol se­cu­rity while of­fer­ing an easy trav­el­ers ex­pe­ri­ence.

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