A new ICT innovation has been launched at Malawi’s international airports, called the Integrated Border Control System, as part of its aim to computerise all its border posts.

The Department of Immigration, which watches over Malawi’s borders, said for two weeks now pilot tests of the computerised system have been running at the country’s two international airports; Chileka in Blantyre and Kamuzu international airport in Lilongwe.

The Department’s Spokesperson, Martha Gonondo, said in an interview that the symbolic launch of the system took place on April 23, 2013 when President Joyce Banda officially launched the system when she was departing Blantyre for Harare, Zimbabwe.

“We took advantage of the president’s trip to officially launch the system,” said Gonondo.

The installation of the system is an on going project in which they are computerising all border posts in the country, she said.

Other posts that are using the new system is at the Mwanza border posts between Malawi and Mozambique and the Mchinji post between Malawi and Zambia where she said are the busiest.

“Subject to the availability of resources we are soon going to spread the installation of the system in all the border posts,” she said.

Gonondo explained that servers will be placed at the posts as well as at the headquarters and all activities happening at the posts will even be accessed from the head office.

The Tanzania government which already has the system in place, extended installation of computers at the Malawi’s Songwe border post for easy facilitation, making it the first place to use the system in Malawi.

“The Songwe border will now be linked with the Malawi system when it becomes fully operational,” she said.

The Integrated Border Control System is endorsed by the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and deals with identification of travellers through biometrics where computers are able to display their information and authentity of passports of all the countries in the world upon scanning of the traveling documents and fingerprints.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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