Biometrics, drones, big data … Efficient, less expensive solutions are emerging, which are better suited to the means of African countries.
More than 250,000 civil applications have been developed to date from drones. If the market is still in its infancy in France, with, between 2013 and 2014, more than 800 companies created in the sector and legislation lagging behind, in terms of security, they are a tool that has entered the customs of the armed forces for several years already, in particular that of the United States for operations “zero death”, that is to say without American loss.
More recently, the Syrian army has used drones delivered by the Russian ally. According to Amnesty International, “Between 2005 and December 2011, the number of countries with military drones increased from 41 to 76. In 2014 and 2015, other reports confirmed this trend. 90 countries as well as non-state groups are said to use drones. Among them, 20 countries would have armed drone development programs and 10 countries already have them. Another point: more than 50 countries would manufacture nearly 900 different drones. The market is nonetheless dominated by the United States and Israel, which have historically mastered these weapon systems. ”
“Africa is already armed to put in place very concrete solutions”
If the African armies do not have any to date, the actions which they carry out with their allies on certain zones, the French during Operation Serval for example in the north of Mali, have used this technology. And faced with the weaknesses of the continent’s armies, experts are betting on “these technological revolutions”.
“We have to take action on a large scale, technology can help us do it, for example to better control borders or secure airports with a continuous exchange of information in real time,” said an expert. Beyond drones, biometrics, computerized files or data, are all tools considered more efficient and less expensive, and therefore within the reach of the portfolios of African States.
As Laurent Denizot, founder and president of Egidium Technoligies, explains, a French start-up, software publisher that develops solutions dedicated to the protection of sensitive sites, major events and crisis management: Africa is already armed to put in place very concrete solutions. It has telecommunications infrastructure, which is a necessary prerequisite for dealing with security, which is based on an ability to exchange information. You have to look at the penetration rate of social networks to see that societies are ready and mature, or even surpass other regions of the world. For example, mobile payment, little developed in Europe, and very popular on the continent. “The soil is there. It is necessary to be able to work in partnership on innovative technological solutions which are intended to use existing means, which can be sensors, cameras and systems for detecting means of communication, and enable the authorities and the forces in charge of security. to have a better understanding of their environment for better decision-making aid to then process operations. ”
“What is implemented in Africa can be developed internationally”
Africa could even serve as a laboratory in this area, as it is increasingly in the area of new technologies. “We have to work with African countries and in particular regional entities in order to build solutions and products together that can meet not only the needs of African countries, but also of Europeans and the whole world. Because what is implemented in Africa can be developed internationally.
And it is very useful to continue these efforts already underway to pursue solutions that benefit everyone and build transcontinental collaborations, ”he said. Africa has meanwhile already adopted biometrics. And clearly before the rest of the world. “The question of civil status is not a problem in France as in Africa. Thirty years ago, a West African head of state asked us to help him build a reliable civil status, “said a French consultant. A technology that we developed for an African state and which was then taken up elsewhere in the world. This is an example of a south-north transfer. And to recall in passing: “The first country in the world to have developed a biometric identity card is African.
It’s Cameroon. If biometrics is in fact already used in certain countries of the continent, to facilitate the development of a reliable civil status file for electoral purposes in particular, elsewhere, it serves as an instrument for socio-economic development and the fight against Corruption. This is the case of India where a system has been adopted to limit fraud in the distribution of food. “The Aadhaar project saved 24% in fuel vouchers and 10% in food vouchers,” said an expert. Aadhaar, that’s 10 billion identity crosses per second. “Checks based on iris identification. Fingerprints, facial detection, iris…
The possibilities are increasing as the needs increase. Even if their development is not without asking certain questions, in terms of respect for human rights in particular, but also security. “To better control borders, we need continuous, real-time information. »Data stored in the virtual world that must be protected. This is the risk of the Internet. “We have to use technology to our advantage. Security should not be an obstacle to the exchange of flows, nuance an industrialist. Big data will not help us make decisions, but it will reveal anomalies. And allow states to act faster and therefore more efficiently. “At this level, it is imperative to involve manufacturers. As is already the case in the United States.
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