Togo’s parliament recently passed a bill amending an existing law on biometric identification of Togolese citizens, which the country says is part of efforts to improve the country’s national security and achieve its digital transformation goals.
According to information from Togo First, the bill modifying the biometric identification rules was adopted at the same time as another which strengthens and assigns new roles to the country’s National Cybersecurity Agency. It also extends the powers of the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Telecommunications and Posts with regard to issuing licenses to organizations providing trust services.
Minister of Posts, Digital Economy and Technological Innovation, Cina Lawson, who was in parliament when the bills were passed, told Togo First that the amended law will help the government in its transformation ambitions. digital technology and will enable it to meet security challenges and cybercrime.
Contacted by Biometric update to comment on the development, Jaume Dubois, a digital identity specialist with work experience in Togo, said that the new text on biometric identification for the country, among other things, empowers the national identification agency ( ANID) to collect the demographic and biometric data of Togolese citizens necessary for the establishment of the basic database of the country’s digital identity card project.
It is, explained Dubois, to put the country on track to achieve the objectives of the “Digital Togo Strategy 2025” which aims to make Togo a hub of the digital economy in West Africa. He also commented on the adoption of the cybersecurity law, saying that it aims to strengthen Togo’s cybersecurity arsenal in the face of emerging cybersecurity threats.
The Biometric Identification Act, which also establishes the national identification agency, was passed in its original form by parliament in 2020, with authorities saying at the time that the text was the legal basis for a system of national biometric identification that the country is trying to implement.
Togo’s initial plan was to have the MOSIP-based digital ID system in place by 2021, but work still needs to be completed on a number of fronts. However, there has been a nationwide awareness campaign on the project and a tender has also been launched to select vendors for its implementation.
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