The NINA card: supporting democracy through operational excellence

The NINA card: a technological challenge, an industrial success.

On July 28, 2013, Malian voters went to the polls to elect a new president, the first election since a 2012 coup deposed the former president and ushered in a transitional government. The election, an important step towards bringing stability for the Malian people, was also the to use biometric ID, the NINA card (National Identification Number).

As well as delivering 8 million NINA cards to the Malian government, Morpho also created the biometric database, containing all citizens aged 15 and over.

"The contract signed with the Malian government in May 2013 was particularly ambitious since one of the terms - non-negotiable - involved the delivery of 8 million NINA cards in under 30 days", explains Yves Lequenne, Identity Program Manager, Morpho.

Mali - art

The NINA cards were a step forward for Mali, with the Malian government determined to ensure that some 6.8 million voters received the new registration card in time for the election.

As one of the world's leading card producers, Morpho was able to call on its production centers, which rose to the challenge with an outstanding display of operational excellence. Three Morpho teams coordinated to ensure order timescales were met; two million blank cards produced each week, and an incredible 330,000 individual cards produced every day.

Meeting the government's requirements, Morpho delivered the last cards to the Bamako on June 26, 2013. Although not responsible for distributing cards to voters across the country, Morpho went the extra mile to facilitate this process; Morpho ensured all packaging featured the codes of the region, commune, circle or district for which the cards were destined.

A few days before the elections, 85% of the population had received their cards, with international press reporting voters were keen to get their NINA cards as soon as possible. Free, valid for 10 years and featuring the holder's photograph, the Morpho-made NINA cards were considered the most fraud-proof form of ID in Mali even before the elections were held.


The card we delivered serves not only as a voter's card, but also as a means of biometric identification for other applications: banking, civil status, health, etc. The NINA card is clearly just a first step - of many we hope - in the development process underway in Mali

Yves Lequenne, Identity Program Manager
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