The contract signing between the CENI and Gemalto officials.

As a sign that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is stepping up efforts to hold elections later this year, the huge Central African country has procured 22,000 biometric voter kits.

The kit, the Coesys Mobile Enrollment Stations, was procured by the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) to support a comprehensive update of the country’s national voter register and is being supplied by Gemalto, a leading digital security firm.

According to a release, the kit will enable 18,000 enrollment centers to rapidly acquire digital photographs, fingerprint and signature records of citizens, and instantly issue personalized voter cards for the upcoming general elections, scheduled for November this year.

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‘CENI will use the Coesys Mobile Enrollment stations to ensure efficient and quality acquisition of voter’s personal details and biometric data that will be used to add new eligible voters, as well as clean and update existing records in the national voter register ahead of the elections. In particular, the use of irrefutable biometric data will help identify and eliminate duplicates. CENI is responsible for managing and operating the entire enrollment process, and consolidating the voter registry’ the release issued by Africa Press Organisation (APO) on behalf of Gemalto states in part.
“We needed a reliable partner to facilitate our ambitious program, which we expect will enroll up to 45 million voters,” CENI President Corneille Nangaa said, adding: “With a wealth of experience in enrollment and voter registry applications in Africa and beyond, Gemalto offered an excellent technical fit, and the ability to react quickly to our requirements.”