The production of reliable identity cards largely depends on the ability to obtain correct data concerning citizens. Not all countries have sufficiently exhaustive information, therefore it will often be necessary to start with large-scale biometric enrolment of the population. This provides an opportunity to combine the project with the creation of a civil register and therefore an opportunity to:
- create a reliable central reference database, which can be used to personalise other types of document including:
- driving licence
- voter card
- social security card
- perform optimised management of identities
- collect valuable data that can be used to compile statistics on the structure of a civil society
- improve the accuracy and consistency of data being processed by several different administrations or agencies
- simplify the exchange of information between the various government bodies.
Governments often postpone the implementation of a civil register because of its complexity. The implementation of the ECOWAS card is an opportunity for in-depth consideration of this question. The effort deployed for enrolment, particularly of the biometric data required to issue these cards, is an opportunity to constitute a solid base from which the database can be developed in several phases.