Somaliland: Government to Replace Handwritten Passports with Electronic documents in 2014

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Flag of Somaliland

By Adam Vrankulj

The Republic of Somaliland says it’s set to replace its handwritten passports with new electronic documents as soon as early 2014.

Yes, you read that correctly – handwritten passports.

Reported in the Somaliland Sun, Somaliland’s Interior Minister made the statement in an interview on state television, saying that the necessary capital to fund this project has been included in this year’s annual budget.

As of yet, it is unclear how the government plans to procure ePassports, or what company will be awarded the contract. It is also unclear what identifying features will be included in the new ePassports.

Somaliland is a self-declared de facto sovereign state that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia. The republic is bordered by Ethiopia in the south and west and Djibouti in the northwest.

Reported previously, according to recently-published research, Giesecke and Devrient, along with Gemalto, Morpho and Oberthur technologies are currently dominating the market for ePassports

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