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Gov’t to employ artificial intelligence in border control

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024 14:43 | By
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki. PHOTO/@KindikiKithure/X

The government has announced plans to employ digital technology, data and artificial intelligence in border control and management in future.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the inaugural National Border Management Conference in Nairobi, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki said the government has already made significant investments in equipping security agencies with the latest technology and resources to combat complex security threats such as terrorism, human trafficking and trafficking in narcotics.

Kindiki says the government is envisioning a border control system with contactless and minimal human interaction for checks and controls.

"Future border control and management will be driven by digital technology, data and artificial intelligence. While the traditional security hardware will remain crucial for countries in the immediate future, the border of the future is going to be secure but contact-less, with minimal human interaction for checks and controls," Kindiki stated.

Current border control methods

Kindiki says that, however, the introduction of technology will not entirely eliminate the current system which entails the traditional border control and management.

"Kenya's borders serve as vital conduits for legitimate trade and travel, facilitating the exchange of goods, ideas and cultures, not just with our neighbours, but the whole World. However, they also present challenges in the form of transnational crime, terrorism and other illicit activities that threaten the safety and security of our people," Kindiki stated.

"To keep our borders safe and secure for Kenya and the neighbouring countries, the government has made significant investments in equipping our security agencies with the latest technology and resources to combat complex security threats such as terrorism, human trafficking and trafficking in narcotics."

According to the Cabinet Secretary, the heightened border control and management will foster regional cooperation for economic prosperity.

"Kenya's commitment to border security is not merely about safeguarding her national interests, but fostering regional cooperation and promoting economic prosperity locally and regionally. Inter-agency cooperation is essential for success in border management. No single agency can address the myriad challenges posed by border security alone. To foster a culture of collaboration and information sharing among all relevant stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, immigration, customs and intelligence," he added.

The National Border Management Conference was attended by delegates from Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda.

Speaking during the conference, the Principal Secretary for Internal Security and National Administration Raymond Omollo the neighbouring states would share information on transnational crimes for easier enforcement.

"Through enhanced sharing of information and resources among various law enforcement agencies, it is now easier to Identify and respond to threats of a hybrid nature, including cross-border and transnational organized crimes. In this regard, we are progressively reducing the use of forged travel documents; illegal migration; human trafficking; smuggling of weapons; trafficking of narcotics and laundering of money among other crimes," Omollo said.

The conference is organised by the Border Control and Operations Coordination Committee (BCOCC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) which brings together key players in border control and operations.

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