LIBREVILLE (AFP) – Gabon has picked the digital security firm Gemalto to set up a biometric voting system in time for next year’s local elections, the African nation’s interior ministry said Friday.

The so-called IBOGA system, an acronym that happens to share its name with a Gabonese hallucinogenic plant, will register residents’ fingerprints and facial features.

The 21-million-euro ($26-million) contract will run over three years, Interior Minister Jean François Ndongou said.

The use of biometrics is aimed at cutting challenges to elections, which since 1990 have been systematically contested by opposition figures claiming fraud and a lack of electoral transparency.


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