TANZANIA has undertaken a study on how best it can improve its immigration services by using electronic systems commonly referred to as e-immigration.
The strategy now in the piloting stage in Mtwara Region comes at a time when there are entrenchments in bilateral and regional cooperation that calls for a more facilitated movement of persons, goods and services.
The Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Pereira Ame Silima, said that there is urgent need for partner States in the region particularly the Southern Africa Development Cooperation member States to think on how they can invest and implement such projects.
Mr Silima said this while opening an international workshop on Identity Management hosted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) held in the city yesterday.
"It is prudent that Tanzania has embarked on introducing national identifications through the National Identification Authority (NIDA) but it was equally important that the region member States also develop their identification management systems to suit the current international needs," he said.
The workshop brings together identity management experts from Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi who are implementing the EU funded programme on identity management system.
According to Mr Silima, most countries adopted stringent migration policies and strict border controls in defence of their sovereignty and security in order to avert such negative migration consequences. IOM statistics have it that there are 214 million international migrants globally which implies that one out of every 33 persons in the world today is a migrant.
"From these statistics, you would agree with me that we cannot practically stop people from moving, but we can put in place proper migration management systems that would ensure smooth and orderly movement of persons within our countries," he said.
Issues of identity management at entry points and post entry periods need to be properly addressed, emphasized the deputy minister, adding that it was crucial for the migration services to be provided in meticulous and orderly manner.
The IOM Chief of Mission in the country, Mr Damien Thuriaux, said his organization was ready to assist whenever the country and region need its technical assistance on issues of migration. He said the recently launched pilot project for biometric electronic registration system of residents permits in Mtwara Region was one of the latest such support IOM was ready to offer.
"If successful, the project will substantially improve and secure the current application process for resident permits and support government efforts in fighting resident permit fraud," he said.