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Mauritanian Authorities Mandate Telecom Subscriber Identification to Enhance National Security

Wednesday, 23 August 2023 18:23
Mauritanian Authorities Mandate Telecom Subscriber Identification to Enhance National Security

(Ecofin Agency) - Mauritania has 6.5 million active telecom users, according to the latest official data. The country wants to identify these users, in a bid to bolster national security amid a rapidly accelerating digital transformation.

In Mauritania, mobile service users have until October 6, 2023, to get their SIM registered. The deadline was recently announced by the Autorité de Régulation Multisectorielle (ARE), Mauritania’s telecom watchdog. Users who fail to comply with the measure by the set date will have their subscriptions suspended, warns the regulator.

To register their SIM cards, users will need a valid ID which they will present at any of the operators’ commercial branches.  The process will also involve recording the biometric data of the individual.

The push for registration aligns with the implementation of Decision No. 0038 by the National Regulatory Council (CNR), regarding the sale of SIM/USIM cards in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Adopted on April 6, the decision stipulates that the sale of SIM cards by telecom operators will be conducted exclusively through biometric identification of the buyer. It also mandates telecommunications operators to perform biometric identification of all their subscribers within six months.

The measure aligns with the Mauritanian government's determination to enhance "the security of the country and its citizens" in a context marked by increasing mobile fraud. According to the ARE, "efforts so far deployed to combat illicit practices in the sale and transfer of SIM cards have not yielded the expected results."

Isaac K. Kassouwi



Public Management

ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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