Techno Brain Limited a friend of Malawi.

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Analysis by Yamikani Nicholas Kachingwe.

In the absence of accurate and objective information, people tend to speculate and mis-conclude.

I must confess, I was among those who were not fully versed with the specific role Techno Brain is playing in the formation, implementation of the E-PASSPORT. As well the synchronization of departments data under the ministry of Homeland Security.

An innovation initiative rolled out by the Immigration and Citizenship services department on 30th December, 2019.

E-PASSPORT is an electronic passport that replaced the machine readable passport. It has high-end security features that safeguards the Malawi Passport against forgery or identity theft. It also conforms with the international standards set by International Civil Aviation Organisation(ICAO) a specialized agency of the United Nations that regulates civil aviation across the globe.

Electronic Passport is one of a kind passport booklet that is embedded with an electronic chip able to electronically store the holders details including biometrics.

E-PASSPORT



BENEFITS SO FAR;

●This has made holders to access visa/permits approvals globally easily.
●It has removed the need to get authentication from respective district commissioners.
●Enhanced Integrity and Security of the Malawi Passport against duplication.
●Provision of online application.
● Easier to apply as you just need to present a copy of National Identification Card, two passport photos, processing fees.

Techno Brain was contracted to make E-PASSPORT possible in Malawi. Gossip mongers had it, the contract is for 45 years. Which is entirely false and misleading.

Techno Brain has a contractual agreement with the Malawi Government through the department of Immigration and Citizenship services FOR 3 YEARS.

Under the procurement reference No: IM/01/272/01,it was asked to deliver the upgrading services and to supply 800,000 electronic passports.

The Contract award letter reference No: IM/01/81/VII dated February 21 2019 was officially signed by both parties on March 22 2019.

The Contract time-frame is 42 months from the date of signing, with first six months being the installation period followed by 36 months of issuance of electronic passports.

The Contract value is K47.4 billion.

Techno Brain is required to upgrade the country’s passport issuance system and introduce electronic passport under the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) Model. Being an incumbent vendor for last 8 years techno Brain prior to the e-passport project, techno Brain was most suited to work on this project.

My fellow countrymen, this is not an issue of just printing out the e-passports but formulating and identifying the suitable and effective technology that has great firewalls. Setting up a data centre servers that will house all passport records. Developing software and infrastructure from point zero and ably operate it without any hiccups.

Techno Brain has permanently employed 20 Malawians who are now operators of this system after going through an intensive training and knowledge transfer program. It also equips the ICT department of Immigration and Citizenship services with knowledge transfer on how to run the system on their own. This is a milestone. An intellectual property of Malawi Government designed by our fellow Malawians with guidance and expertise from TBL.

Techno Brain is also in the process of finalizing the digitization of all passports registration and issuance details. This is a breakthrough in a great direction as prior to this new system all records were manually and physically stored.

This system is also bringing online Malawian embassies across the world – enabling the diaspora to securely apply for passports in their country of residency. Citizens can now visit a refurbished counters in immigration offices.

Techno Brain has developed a mobile kit that collects data remotely from the main server. What this means is that people will no longer need to travel to Lilongwe or Blantyre to apply for new or renew their passports. The immigration officials will be travelling or setting up passport clinics in rural communities and collect applicant’s data. This is indeed phenomenal. Citizens will save money meant for transport.

Techno Brain is a renowned Africa’s leading custom software application provider. It offers innovative solutions to various nations across the globe.

Techno Brain presence in Malawi is over 15 years. The organisation has contributed to the growth of ICT industry in Malawi. It is among key players who have rendered a helping hand in empowering capable Malawians socially, intellectually and financially.

#Conclusion

The only downside is that the Immigration and Citizenship services department is yet to recall all Machine readable passports which some people are still using. Currently it’s like We have two different passports in use.

I as a patriotic citizen I commend Techno Brain Limited for their efforts in the ICT world.

Now! I have all facts and truths about Techno Brain, I therefore retract all my previous articles which were not well researched and may have misled my readers and followers.

Techno Brain has no 45 year contract with Immigration and Citizenship services department.

Techno Brain built the system from the scratch with local human force. It has operated it in Malawi through the hands of Malawians to issue out more than 200,000 electronic passports since inception. It will transfer and handover the infrastructure next year to the procuring agency. It has trained over 20 Malawians and the whole department of the procuring agency to enable a smooth and profitable transfer of knowledge and expertise.

The billions we are paying for this new system is well deserving and befitting. Techno Brain however have not been paid as per the contract terms and Govt have defaulted payments in this case. But we must commend to Techno Brain that in spite not receiving the due payment Techno Brain is continuing providing the services to our fellow citizens.

I YNK salute TBL.

I’m realising the extent of work that is involved and is extremely impressed by the sheer magnitude of work done.

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