By Aurore Bonny
NGAOUNDERE, Cameroon (AA) - An environmentalist entrepreneur from Cameroon has a mission to protect classified documents and fight the exploitation of trees: developing a secure biometric card with a QR code.
"Yonacard is a biometric card that can be used to save scanned personal documents. It is similar to a conventional identity card with a single difference: My card protects and keeps all kinds of documents," Marcelin Adamou Abou told Anadolu Agency.
All you need to access the documents stored in the card is a cellphone and an app to decipher QR codes.
Abou has been working on it for several months, and he plans to officially launch the card in the next few days.
Accompanied by a number of partners including computer engineers, he is currently working on a brand-new application for decoding as well. Yet to be revealed app will also contain an information page to guide users.
"We are trying to change the interface of the application. In a few days in Yaounde, we will officially launch it. Previously the application only allowed to scan the map. From now on, users will have access to a help and information page, as well as a contact page. The whole thing makes up a lite application," Abou explained.
Abou came up with this idea after missing an important exam because of documents loss.
His innovation is dedicated to everyone across the Central African country with access to a mobile phone and internet connection that can decipher the codes. The Yonacard works like a USB in storing documents, which are hosted in a cloud for the user to have access in case of data loss.
According to the young ecologist, each of these cards is personalized for the user's needs and therefore comes in various versions. In particular, a version was developed to back up university diplomas, just in four days.
Another version enables the users to keep family documents such as land titles, birth certificates, marriage certificates and others.
Even companies can obtain a version of this biometric card to conserve a large number of professional documents.
The latest version is dedicated to governments. It aims to solve the problem of illegal disclosure of classified state documents online.
The differences between these cards are their backup capacity and manufacturing time.
- Environmentalist initiative
Behind this digital solution, Abou expresses his passion for ecology. The young entrepreneur is against the "abusive exploitation of trees" in his country and believes that his solution will help to fight this scourge.
"To produce paper, wood must disappear from our forests, unfortunately. It often takes three tons of wood to produce at least two tons of paper sheets. So we have big losses because a large amount of wood is wasted.
"That is why this exploitation must be limited. We use an average of 250 million tons of paper per hour worldwide. We can't totally limit this use with our biometric card, but we want to contribute to sustainable development," he said.
His strategy seeks to raise awareness by getting people adopt his innovative card to achieve a positive result in fight against deforestation.
"People need to understand that we risk losing our forest resources without being able to recover them," he said.
The biometric card is made of recycled materials, and he plans to adapt it to a bio-degradable material. He said it has the advantage of not needing electricity except for the cellphone used to decipher the codes.
It could also help in the digitization of the Cameroonian public administration, he said.
For instance, there will no longer be a question of materialization or use of papers for birth certificates. With digitalization of everything, it is easy to transport and secure them in a medium.
In this context, instead of securing cards with QR codes, smart cards will be used. It is a bargain that not every Cameroonian can afford but administrations.