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Benin issues digital IDs to citizens living abroad

Benin issues digital IDs to citizens living abroad

Benin’s National Agency for the Identification of Persons (ANIP) has dispatched teams to fifteen countries around the world to assign national ID numbers to Beninese living abroad.

The activity, which is already underway, seeks to include the said citizens in the National Register of Natural Persons (RNPP), the country’s main citizen registration database, according to a statement published on the government’s website.

Citizens who obtain the personal ID number will be eligible to receive what ANIP calls “Le Certificat NPI/fID”, a secure document which attests that a person has been issued the personal ID number.

The move to assign personal ID numbers to Beninese out of the country will also enable them to receive a biometric identity card and give them access to certain services from their government in Cotonou, the administrative capital. Such services are likely to include applications for passport renewal or issuance.

The measure, officials say, is also in line with the country’s National Strategy for the Identification of Persons (SNIP), which enjoys the support of the West Africa Unique Identification for Regional Integration and Inclusion program (WURI).

Apart from enrolling the diaspora residents into the RNPP database, ANIP says the teams will also set up a system for the automatic transfer of data of citizens who have been registered, process the data collected from registrants before adding such data to the RNPP database, issue the “Certificat NPI/fID” to all those who have been assigned personal ID numbers, and then facilitate the citizens’ access to services of basic necessity.

The government says each of the teams is expected to register at least 60 persons per day throughout the campaign, and a total of 6, 600 enrollments are expected to be done before the exercise ends. It is not clear when it will.

A delegation from Benin was among five others from the WURI region that made a recent trip to the Philippines to share experiences and learn best practices on the successful implementation of digital ID projects.

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