Malawi opts for 2019 rather than 2014 for biometric elections

Malawi wont use biometric voter registration for 2014 polls-official (Star Africa)

“We have resolved that the implementation of the biometric system be used in the 2019 elections,” he [MEC Chief Elections Officer Willie Kalonga] said.

Kalonga said the commission will conduct a comprehensive field tests and civic education programmes on the solution.

Countries that haven’t rushed the process have done a better job implementing biometrics into election ID.

Malawi: Biometric voter registration

Malawi electoral commission adopts electronic voter registration system (Nyasa Times)

“The old method of registering voters did not have the inbuilt mechanism for accurate capturing of fingerprints which will assist in detecting multiple registrations and, therefore, there were instances where some unscrupulous individuals registered more than once.

“Biometric technology will make the detection and hence removal of multiple registration from the system resulting in the production of a more accurate and reliable register for all elections,” says the statement.

This means that the upcoming registration exercise will have an entirely new voters’ register that will replace the existing one and all voters identity cards.

In addition to capturing fingerprints, a voter’s photograph will also be taken on the spot. The photograph will be printed on the new securer voter identity card that will be issued to the voter at the point of registration as well as in the voters register.

Biometric voter registration without biometric voter verification leaves some gaps.

Biometrics + Banking → Rising incomes in Malawi

Fingerprints for financing: Removing some risk from lending in Africa (PhysOrg)

Read the whole thing or at least watch the video below.

They were paprika farmers in Malawi participating in a new study that shows fingerprinting can help encourage borrowers to repay their loans. Like many impoverished countries, Malawi lacks a national identification system. Most of the population lives in rural areas with few government services. Even ID as basic as a birth certificate is rare in the southeastern African nation.

Another amazing thing abuot the study is that it found a 234% ROI on biometric spending and that loan performance among the riskiest contracts nearly doubled.

Biometrics can be a leapfrogging technology for building better institutions in the developing world.