Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – Recently, in a significant development for Sierra Leone’s border security, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) officially launched the Migration Information & Data Analysis System (MIDAS) at the Gbalamuya Border Crossing Point in Kambia. This marks a crucial milestone in a two-year pilot program aimed at enhancing border management capabilities in the country.
The MIDAS System, implemented as part of the ‘Strengthening the Border Management Capacity of the Government of Sierra Leone’ Project, introduces state-of-the-art technology such as document readers, webcams, and fingerprint readers to streamline the capture and verification of travellers’ biographic and biometric data. This automation not only expedites the information collection process but also significantly improves accuracy, ultimately reducing the workload at border crossings.
Christos Christodulides, the IOM Head of Office, highlighted the project’s genesis and emphasized its alignment with the Sierra Leone National Migration Policy. The collaborative efforts between IOM and the Ministry of Internal Affairs were acknowledged, with Christodulides urging the immigration department to take full responsibility for the effective implementation of the MIDAS System.
Commending IOM for their timely support and citing successful implementations in Guinea and Liberia, the Chief Immigration Officer, Alusine Kanneh, emphasized the pivotal role of the MIDAS System in securing Sierra Leone’s borders, urging the extension of similar installations to all major border crossing points.
Meanwhile, Major General (Rtd) David T.O Taluva, the Minister of Internal Affairs, outlined plans for collaboration with Guinea and emphasized the MIDAS system’s crucial role in strengthening national borders.
With the MIDAS System now operational at the Gbalamuya Border, the Internal Affairs Minister expressed confidence in the Government’s ability to collect, process, store, and analyze travel information in real time.
The Minister highlighted the system’s potential to enhance monitoring capabilities and manage security risks, noting that measures are in place to ensure the integrity of traveller information, adhering to personal data protection laws.
This innovative step forward in border management underscores Sierra Leone’s commitment to national security and efficient data handling, positioning the MIDAS System as a valuable tool for the effective management of its borders. PSN/29/1/2024