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Biometric National Identification: An Essential Factor for Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

Biometric National Identification: An Essential Factor for Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
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Author(s): Emmanuel Eilu (Uganda Christian University, Uganda)
Copyright: 2021
Pages: 19
Source title: Perspectives on ICT4D and Socio-Economic Growth Opportunities in Developing Countries
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patrick Ndayizigamiye (University of Johannesburg, South Africa), Glenda Barlow-Jones (University of Johannesburg, South Africa), Roelien Brink (University of Johannesburg, South Africa), Stella Bvuma (University of Johannesburg, South Africa), Rehana Minty (University of Johannesburg, South Africa) and Siyabonga Mhlongo (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2983-6.ch006

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Abstract

Fifty-five percent of the people living in sub-Saharan Africa lack any official identification documentation and this has created a hug identity gap. African countries are using biometric technology to pilot multimillion-dollar national identification projects aimed at narrowing the identity gaps. However, there has been little evidence published on the extent this technology has led to economic development and to narrowing the identity gap in sub-Saharan Africa. Using a narrative review, this chapter explores the role of the emerging biometric national identification technology in narrowing the identity gap and contributing to economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. This chapter is of significance in that it informs governments in developing and transitional countries especially in Africa on lessons learned from the pilot projects and suggests better ways of narrowing the identity gap using the emerging biometric national identification technology.

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