The Gambia’s Biometric Identification System has netted about D300 million dalasi (US$7.5 million) for the government of former President Yahya Jammeh, which refused to pay US$3 million (D120 million dalasis) it owes to Pristine Consulting.
According to the Company’s CEO Abdou Rahman Touray, his company developed the ambitious project integrating multi-document identification platforms, the largest database the country has.
“The GAMBIS project has been entirely pre-financed by Pristine Consulting to the tune of over $3 million with the Government of The Gambia spending zero dollars,” Touray said.
“To date, the GAMBIS project has netted GOTG about 300 million dalasis and is the most successful Public Private Partnership project in Gambian history.”
Gambia authorities have outsourced their biometric passport processing and development to a Belgian company, Semlex, which is at the center of an alleged scheme that sends most of the money paid by Congolese citizens for new passports.
Pristine Consulting, which is launching a new ID Check in the West African nation, could gain millions if not for the shifting of passport processing to Semlex.
The ID Check will help reduce the risk for Gambian businesses and make it easier to get access to finance and other vital services.
Although Pristine did not say if it is hiring more staff, diverting projects to international companies and not being made aware of bidding may cause many in the company not to create jobs.
“These types of innovations are also necessary in order to create employment and business opportunities for countries such as The Gambia, where youth unemployment is approximately 68%,” Touray said.