Zimbabwe Signs for Facial Recognition Technology

Zimbabwe Signs for Facial Recognition Technology
Mutsvangwa (right) receives the facial recognition hardware from China

Special Advisor to the President Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with HikVision board chair Zongnian Chen from China to foster a co-operation between the company and Zimbabwe in a move to grow the ICT sector and make a software which is meant to be intergrated with the facial recognition hardware be made available locally by local developers.

The MOU, which makes Zimbabwe to be the number one country in Africa to spearhead the facial recognition surveillance and Artificial Intelligence system nationwide, was signed in the presence of President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and the Chinese Ambassador Huang Ping.

Mutsvangwa (second from left) receives the Facial Recognition Technology kit

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Deputy Director to the Special Advisor, Nigel Sheima Muguza said, “We will also be contributing in the building of national Artificial Intelligence database in line with President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s “ Zimbabwe is Open for Business” Mantra ,we would like to add that Zimbabwe safe and secure for business.”

“The new dispensation is eager to make Zimbabwe a middle income country by 2030. This can be achieved by use of ICT to improve the day to day lives of the citizens of this country.”

The MOU is fulfilling an earlier discussion held by the advance team from the office of the Special Advisor during the President’s State visit to China, where both parties agreed to co-operate starting with the pilot smart city project in Mutare according to a press statement.

“These donations of Facial Recognition Terminal that have a capability of deep learning facial recognition is the first of many to come,” states the release.

“These will be implemented at all border posts, state entry points and airports for smooth transactions.”

“The country for a long time has been in need for technology to improve efficiently at its entry points to handle large volumes of traffic,” the release goes on.

Part of the Facial Recognition software kit
Part of the Facial Recognition software kit

The project is not only for security purposes but also to assist in disaster response and traffic control according to the statement from the Office of The Special Advisor To The President in The Office Of The President and Cabinet.

“The cameras are part of a bigger picture whereby we are moving towards smart cities with power , water management among other projects which will be done from one central location.” says the Special Advisor’s office.

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