Malawi government through the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security has said national identity cards (IDs) will be available to all Malawians by the end of this year.
However, the issuing process requires K1.3 billion ($3 million) as upfront payment to roll out IDs project and a commitment for the next three years of the project.
Currently, Malawi is the only country in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) bloc without national IDs.
The absence of these national IDs is said to be according unscrupulous foreign nationals to obtaining and abusing the country’s passport, among other government documents.
“At the moment, we will be putting up adverts to find subcontractors to carry out this exercise or registering about eight to 10 million people.
“We are in the initial stages, but by the end of this year, the exercise will have to be completed,” said Paul Chibingu, Home Affairs Minister.
He further said they will also be setting up birth registration data centre at National Registration Bureau (NRB) and three district offices, then the registration of births in district hospitals and other health facilities in Chitipa, Ntcheu and Blantyre.
The Minister also said NRB will be providing up-to-date bio-data through what he claimed as an “efficient and effective” process to foster positive identification of all bonafide Malawians and resident foreigners to achieve socio-economic development.