William G. Gilroy | August 20, 2014
Mention the name Somaliland, and most people will have images from the movies “Black Hawk Down” and “Captain Phillips” spring to mind. However, those images are more correctly associated with Somalia, not Somaliland, which is an independent state that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.
Somaliland declared itself independent in 1991 and has been transforming itself into a rare, multiparty democracy in the Horn of Africa. University of Notre Dame biometrics expert Kevin Bowyer and his Ph.D. students Estefan Ortiz and Amanda Sgroi are playing a critical role in that process.
“One goal of the Somaliland government is to have honest, respected elections,” Bowyer said. “Toward this end, they want to create a fraud-free voter registration list. They have turned to biometrics as a means to generate such a list.”