As part of rebuilding its infrastructure following a long period of civil war, the Angolan government decided to replace its outdated national identity documents in the mid 2000’s with an ID card system that was not only counterfeit-resistant and durable, but would also provide proof of identity to its entire population of 24.3 million citizens - a daunting task given that 62% of the population lives in widely dispersed urban areas and 38% live in hard to access rural areas.
After years of civil war, the Angolan Government was in desperate need to account for their geographically dispersed population and ultimately provide a much-needed backbone – a central database – for Government civil services. While an enormous undertaking, the ability to understand the landscape of its citizenry could propel this nation forward and truly change lives.
National ID card programme
In response, DGM Sistemas of Luanda (DGM) and HID Global partnered to deliver a world-class, custom National ID Card Program to the government of Angola. The programme has expanded its overall enrollment, issuance and delivery infrastructure over the past seven years, reaching more than 6.5 million citizens and bringing with it the enhanced ability to securely travel, gain employment and open bank accounts.
In the mid-2000s, Angola began its search for a replacement for its paper-based citizen ID document. The use of false documents and ID theft exposed the nation to major security concerns at a time when its new democratic government was being established and global insecurity was on the rise. The government’s vision was to provide one legal identity per person as a cornerstone of citizenship.
Adding to the challenge of ensuring one new National ID card per person was the sheer geography of the nation. To meet the needs of Angola’s widely dispersed and predominantly rural population, the government needed a solution that would allow for distributed data capture and issuance.
The government’s vision was to provide one legal identity per person as a cornerstone of citizenship
A world-class solution
The Angola National ID Card Program incorporates the latest innovations in secure issuance, card technology and citizen-centric services - services that take into account people’s needs and expectation for convenience, flexibility and affordability when participating in government programs.
The new National ID system had to meet multiple security criteria, including:
- Matching individuals to their biometrics
- Safeguarding personal data
- Storing substantial amounts of information directly on the card (fingerprint biometrics, images, birth certificates, demographic data)
Angola’s dispersed geography required the ability to instantly read the card’s data in areas where there was no access to the communications network, as well as modular and mobile data collection and card personalisation systems. Delivering on these goals required the deployment of the most counterfeit-resistant document possible, with secure portable data storage, and strong visual security attributes. HID Global’s LaserCard optical security media technology was chosen for its proven security and visual authentication features. Further, LaserCard optical security media’s long-life span and ability to scale with the needs of the nation enables the addition of functions or applications like providing proof of the right to vote, and access to multiple government services.
Angolan cardholders now carry IDs as advanced as those found anywhere else in the world. LaserCard optical security media allows the cards to not only store personal and biometric identification, but prevents counterfeiting and obstructs tampering, while facilitating quick and accurate authentication of the card. The digital security of optical media-based credentials has never been compromised. LaserCard optical security media encoders allow individuals to have all ten fingerprints encoded, along with photos and personal information, for confident authentication in the field. HID Global supplies both the cards and hundreds of secure ID card printer/encoder systems.
HID Global supplies both
The majority of Angolans live in remote, rural locations. In the first phase of the program, the new secure issuance infrastructure deployed to serve these populations included 27 centralised “fixed” centers (9 at Luanda, 2 at Benguela, and one for every other Province) for National ID Card enrollment, personalisation and issuance as well as a creative cadre of mobile units (22 trucks) to enroll and issue ID cards to citizens in remote parts of the country. Today there are more than 243 fixed and mobile of issuance centers. DGM, in partnership with HID Global and the Angolan Government’s Ministry of Justice, has successfully implemented “Over the Counter” issuance processes in which citizens are securely issued their IDs in less than an hour.
Originally launched without a network communications infrastructure in place, the program has been deployed in stages – evolving along the way. DGM had to construct a country-wide information technology and network communications infrastructure at the same time that initial “fixed” centers and mobile units began to be implemented. Today the communications infrastructure is able issue new ID cards in an hour – from biometric data collection to issuance to the citizen.
A national impact - what’s next
Beyond the most evident improvements in national security, the Angolan National ID system is contributing to building the fabric of the nation’s economy, the legal cornerstones of identity and providing citizens with improvements to their daily lives.
The country’s focus is on scaling its personalisation and printing capabilities
As the de facto identification standard for opening a bank account, employment authorisation and other daily services the national ID card is not only growing in use, but is now a requirement for all Angolan citizens. The country’s focus is therefore on scaling its personalisation and printing capabilities, along with greater service and support, especially in remote areas, to build up the nation’s central database and reach approximately 24M citizens. The Government is also adopting innovations to enhance the card technology, issuance processes and overall security and efficiency of the program.
The LaserCard optical security media technology originally selected for the card allows this expansion while preserving the security and integrity of the ID system. As the user base grows, LaserCard optical security media will also allow more sophisticated 11 authentications to enhance the security and eliminate all possibilities for fraud or counterfeiting.
HID Global government ID solutions
As a worldwide leader in secure identity solutions, HID Global is a proven and respected brand in the access control and secure ID solutions industry. HID Global’s Government ID Solutions provides governments worldwide with an end-to-end portfolio of highly secure, custom government-to-citizen ID solutions. The company has shipped more than 150 million eIDs in over 50 countries for major projects that include national ID, e-passport, foreign resident ID, worker ID, driver’s license and vehicle registration programmes worldwide.