The National Registration Bureau (NRB) will next month kick-start the first phase of the production and issuance of national identity cards in the sampled 11 districts across the country.
Chief Registration Officer for Population at NRB Elvis Salagi revealed that the pilot exercise is expected to last two months, targeting 5,000 Malawians aged 16 and above.
Government is expected to contract private firms of international repute to carry out jobs that involve technical expertise in the development of a computerized national identification and registration system.
The system will ensure that all Malawians above 16 years of age and resident foreigners have identity card.
The project is also meant to enable government and stakeholders to process the country’s emigration and immigration data.
However, the issuing process requires K1.3 billion ($3 million) as upfront payment to roll out IDs project and a commitment for the next three years of the project.
Currently, Malawi is the only country in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) bloc without national IDs.
The absence of these national IDs is said to be according unscrupulous foreign nationals to obtaining and abusing the country’s passport, among other government documents.