Digital security firm Gemalto, together with local partner SCINTL, has been contracted to supply a border management system, including airport self-service eKiosks at Entebbe Airport, Uganda.
According to a media statement issued by Gemalto the e-immigration solution makes use of the company's fingerprint and facial recognition technology, combined with a passport scan.
It is built on the Gemalto Visa Management System (VMS) that was first deployed in 2014 by the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC), part of Uganda's Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The VMS combines applications, processing and issuance for all pre-paid visas and permits, and incorporates an online portal, and biometric enrolment facilities in foreign missions and on arrival in the country.
The statement reads: "Entebbe International Airport, servicing Uganda's capital, Kampala, welcomed over 1.5 million travellers in 2017, and the new eKiosks will further boost its capacity to handle the growing number of business and leisure visitors heading to Uganda, a progressive east African state with a population of over 40 million. Once implementation of the e-Immigration solution is complete in 2019, passengers will enjoy the option of a rapid, self-guided pathway through border control, whilst authorities are provided with comprehensive, real-time data on departures from Uganda."
General Jeje A. Odongo, Uganda's Minister of Internal Affairs said, "The new ABC - Automated Border Control Solution marks the latest step forward in the modernisation, enhancement of security of border control management in Uganda, delivering important benefits for visitors and citizens alike."
Thierry Mesnard, Vice President, Sales Africa for Gemalto, added, "Rapid growth in international air travel is going hand in hand with profound cross-border threats such as terrorism, illegal immigration and organised crime. With the introduction of advanced automated kiosks at Entebbe Airport, the Ugandan authorities are once again demonstrating their commitment to addressing all these challenges."
Cephas T. Bushuyu, Managing Director for SCINTL, also said, "SCINTL will provide vital local support and know-how for a solution that encompasses supply, installation and maintenance."
In July 2018 Raphael de Cormis, Vice President Innovation Labs at Gemalto, posted a thought leadership article about controversy over facial recognition technology.
He said it is essential to remember that everything depends on a range of factors including how it is used, for what purposes, and whether or not there is a legal framework in force.
"One of the greatest benefits of this technology is that it offers a simple, reliable and fast way to authenticate for payment, to secure physical access, to identify with a service provider, and to protect public spaces. And it is with this last usage that the controversy is greatest, since it can involve technology can be used without our knowledge. It all depends on the particular situation, and there is a big difference between an automated border crossing check and an Orwellian sci-fi scenario," said de Cormis.