Botswana Seeks Namibian Expertise

| April 10, 2015

Namibia Biometric Systems (NBS) has been chosen as the best suitable company to design the new electronic voting machines for Botswana’s next general elections and is expected to give a presentation to the country’s parliamentarians on the matter later this year.

NBS is a local company that operates at an international level and focuses on biometric security such as facial recognition, fingerprints, social monitoring and analytics and anything that revolves around security systems.

Biometrics is the application of statistical analysis to biological data.

It officially opened its doors in the country last year under its mastermind Dr Risco Mutelo, who is based in the UK where an investment bank employs him as a quantitative analyst.

He holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering from Newcastle University.

Following NBS’s operations last year, the company and other companies were approached last year by the Botswana Electoral Commission to assist in coming up with new mechanisms to improve their voting system by designing electronic voting machines, citing that the old system usually resulted in undesirable difficulties.

It was then that different companies had to present their services to the electoral stakeholders in Botswana and NBS scored the highest.

In an interview on Tuesday, Mutelo shared insight with New Era why his company is ideal.

He stated his company operates on a solution-based principle rather than selling the product, which he described as – “solution-based, something unique which other similar companies don’t possess.”

“Through being solution based we always want to understand why a client needs the biometric security system and understand the problem with the current security system the client has in place,” further stated the Namibian born and bred biometrician.

He elaborated that during the presentations he asked the electoral commissioner in Botswana to state the reason why they want to abandon the old system, what were the benefits and what they liked about the old voting system because they had it for so many years.

“The reason why we ask those questions is any new solution must include the benefits which the old solution had. It should incorporate that – if you have to enhance the system it must clear the limitations in the old systems so that the client does not ask you questions such as will this not do that. Because they understand what you are doing as just enhancing what was already in place,” explained Mutelo on his first step of his firm’s presentations.

“The second part of the solution is how we build the system you have to consider the standards that need to be met such as international standards and if there is the need to upgrade the legal framework so that the system you are building fits in perfectly. That is key for the client and we have to make sure the environment where the system is implemented is suitable because if the environment is not fitting it will create a challenge, and that was the biggest challenge which distinguished us from the rest of the other companies,” he added. With that his clients were able to understand and become comfortable because they were part of the team in helping to build the solution in relation to their specifications.

The company’s recognition did not only end there, as last month Mutelo under his company NBS was invited to attend Interpol’s digital security research seminar in France where they deliberated on identifying potential cyber issues, facial recognition in new trends and super resolutions, social media monitoring, circumventing the limitations of biometric systems.

In addition, Mutelo was a speaker at international conferences such as the SPIE conference on defence and security, Orlando World Center in Orlando, Florida, USA, 2008 and the 4th IET Visual Information Engineering Conference, the Royal Statistical Society, London, UK, 2007.

Source : New Era

Category: General

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