June 16, 2024
PRESS RELEASES

Thales Leads Innovative Digital Transformation of the Mauritius National Identity System

The Mauritius Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has entrusted the consortium led by Thales, which includes the leading Mauritian-grown IT provider Harel Mallac Technologies (HMT), with a crucial step toward developing a comprehensive National ID system to improve citizen services and bolstering identity security. This partnership sets the foundations for the next generation digital journey of Mauritius, fully aligned with the country’s 2030 digital strategy.

This ambitious modernisation effort draws on Thales experience from 300 government projects worldwide, and ensures that field-proven technology can be associated for timely delivery and reliable project execution. It is a long-term partnership providing consistent and expert support in all key components of the identity scheme, from citizen enrolment to physical and digital ID issuance. This end-to-end approach effectively meets future evolutions as well as potential identity threats.

As part of the 10-year contract Thales is providing a powerful and modular Identity Management System to securely issue cutting-edge eID cards and its mobile companion, the Digital ID Wallet. The solution assures comprehensive trust and privacy in daily interactions between public entities and individuals. The user experience is at the core of this modernisation drive, illustrated by the wider range of new functionalities and services it brings to citizens.

The citizen’s journey starts with a frictionless enrolment process, which can be initiated online from the comfort of home to save citizens time when visiting the enrolment centre. Once enrolled, the holder will receive a new eID card which relies on the latest Thales embedded software and advanced security features, including high resolution colour photo1, to effectively combat forgery and identity theft. For more convenience, self-service kiosks will be installed at dedicated spots to enable users to update their ID cards’ information (with new address, etc) and manage the PIN code associated with the digital certificates stored in their card.

Citizens can also activate their Digital ID Wallet, a secure mobile application where they can securely store and share digital identity documents. The wallet will initially include digital versions of the identity card and will subsequently contain other official documents such as birth and marriage certificates. These may then be shared both online and in-person. Citizens will also be able to digitally sign documents with a one-time certificate as well as log in to online government services by using their digital wallet. For service providers (public administrations, banks, retailers, universities, etc…) it will be a simpler and more secure way to verify identities. Citizens’ control over their personal data is guaranteed thanks to stringent data privacy and consent management mechanisms.

Mauritius identity cards production will benefit from Thales factories’ sustainability action plan, which aims to reduce the carbon footprint by utilising 100% renewable electricity, optimising energy consumption and minimising waste. As a complement to this approach, the Mauritius project is part of Thales’ offsetting program which supports sustainable initiatives2 worldwide (selected in collaboration with Climate Impact Partner) by offsetting the carbon emissions from all its travel and ID solutions.

During the official launching on 26th February 2024 of the national ID card at the Sir Harilal Vaghjee Memorial Hall, Government Centre, Port Louis, it was stated that:
“The purpose of modernising the present system with sophisticated and next generation technology is to enable new services while increasing citizen security and convenience. The next-generation ID system will lay the foundation for supporting the country’s digital transformation, benefiting all stakeholders and fostering economic growth.”

“With this implementation, blending ID cards and digital identity, Mauritius fully leverages the best of both worlds, offering the optimal combination of security and ease,” says Youzec Kurp, VP Identity and Biometrics Solutions at Thales. “The new Mauritius ID system stands as one of the most advanced and marks the first implementation of a fully interoperable Digital ID Wallet in Africa, adhering to international ISO standards. This positions Mauritius amongst the pioneer countries in identity solutions worldwide.”

1 The new e-document incorporates latest generation of embedded software together with advanced physical features such as Thales Colour Laser Shield technology (high resolution colour portrait) ensuring state-of-the-art protection against counterfeiting for both blank and personalised documents, True Vision (high resolution true-colour UV picture), transparent window element with the holders’ ghost image, and Secure Surface 3D tactile features combining movement and light reflection.
Example of supported projects in 2023: Vichada Afforestation in Colombia, Aqua Clara Water Filters in Kenya, Renewable Energy Portfolio worldwide.

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