Police in Ghana have acquired more than 100 mobile devices to perform biometric identity verifications in the field.
The devices and associated software are valued at US$2 million, and are intended to help improve the effectiveness of law enforcement activities.
Accra-based Margins ID Group supplied the devices.
Police can use the devices for biometric checks against the National Identification Authority’s database. This will allow wanted individuals, as well as Ghana Card holders, and vehicle registration and insurance information, to be checked.
The NIA database holds biometric records on more than 17 million people, and they can be identified in real time, according to the report. The country’s population is estimated at 33 million.
The devices were unveiled and transferred to the Ghana Police Service at a ceremony attended by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia.
The deployment is part of a government plan to address a range of the country’s challenges through digitization. Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, inspector general of police, expressed optimism that the biometric devices can dramatically improve policing in Ghana.
Ghana has also been going through a somewhat tumultuous SIM registration process, which has reportedly helped reduce fraud rates in the country. Slow Ghana Card issuance has been blamed for hindering SIM registrations, but the national ID has also been mooted as the sole credential for voter registration.