On 30 September 2019, IOM Kenya officially handed over the facial recognition system at Moi International Airport, Mombasa to the Government of Kenya through the Department of Immigration Services (DIS). The system was installed with support from the Japan-funded project on Comprehensive Community Stabilization in the Kenya Coast and Key Border Points. “During the just concluded TICAD VII in Yokohama, Japan, peace and security in Africa was one of the areas of focus, and in Kenya, Mombasa is an essential County in contributing to the peace of the continent and the world. The use of advance technology like the facial recognition system will ensure that security threats are reduced”, said H.E. Ryoichi Horie, Ambassador, Embassy of Japan in Kenya.
Installation of the system commenced in July 2019 by the NEC Cooperation engineering team as well as training of 25 immigration officers stationed at Moi Airport on the use and management of the system’s software and hardware. The areas of training included: High level NeoFace watch solution architecture, favourable facial recognition results, image capturing techniques, NeoFace Watch Logging in, live view, widgets and dashboard, face Search and image manager and basic configuration. The officers received their training certificates during the ceremony.
Mr. Alexander Muteshi, Director, DIS, appreciated the Government of Japan and IOM Kenya for the financial and technical support provided in the installation of the facial recognition system in Moi Airport, Jomo Kenyattta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi and in Muhuru Bay in Migori County. JKIA and Moi airports are used by the region for flight connections and the use of advance technology will enhance the security of Kenya’s borders, he added. “The installation of this system will strengthen Kenya’s borders that are faced by a myriad of challenges, there will be great improvement in how the country will guard the ports of entry and exit,” cited Ms. Pamela Otieno, Deputy Director, DIS.
“I hope that the facial recognition system together with direct support to the at-risk youth and community policing can holistically support the Government of Kenya in improving security, social cohesion and promoting better migration management,” said Mr. Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa. Throughout the installation and training process, continuous communication among IOM, NEC, DIS and Kenya Airport Authority (KAA), without this close coordination, the installation could not have been possible. I thank you all for the collaboration, he emphasized.
The Assistant County Commissioner, Changamwe Sub-county, Mr. Tom Konyelo appreciated all support by IOM, NEC, KAA and the Government of Japan. “I would like to thank the Government of Japan for your generous support, it is IOM’s privilege and pleasure to work with the Department of Immigration Services, and support their efforts in achieving the UN SDGs, the Big Four and the 2030 Agenda. We look forward to expanding the programmes that IOM and DIS are co-implementing in Kenya,” underlined Mr. Ferdinand Paredes, Acting Chief of Mission, IOM Kenya.