Efficiency in the administration of identity card delivery remains a myth in most African countries. Some citizens are born and die without ever owning a personal identity document, be it a national ID, passport or just a drivers license. Often this is a result of costly highly centralized bureaucracies that are not easily accessible to ordinary citizens.
Rwanda has refused to go this route. The benefits of her goal to be the regions ICT hub, are starting to record success, with the recent revelation that the National ID project is likely by next year to have become fully institutionalized. Meaning it will no longer function on an ad hoc basis.
The process will include putting in place a sophisticated system that captures all biometric data. This means that by the push of a button all of a person’s details are immediately availed, from their picture, fingerprints and other details.
The revolutionary smart card also carries it own advantages, as all services will be integrated in the same card from immigration, medical insurance, banking among others.
The electronic ID will also make life easier when one travels within the East African Community (EAC), in line with the region’s goal of ensuring the free movement of its citizens.
The above brings hope to many Rwandans because there is nothing more frustrating, just for one’s new born baby to get a birth certificate, this will now be done at birth. From the moment a baby makes its first cry, the dignity of being a registered citizen will just be within a few days.
For the first time those under 16 will also be entitled to an ID.
Building an efficient institutionalized ID Project also means that corruption is easily checked.
There are those in the business of selling fake ID’s or passports to desperate citizens, who are likely to lose the shoddy business to a more efficient electronic one.