Freedom to Move with National ID Campaign

Speeches Shim

Thursday, July 30, 2020
Delivering Key Public Services to Vulnerable Populations

Marginalized communities throughout Burkina Faso face extraordinary hurdles. Lacking identity documentation is often cited as one of the biggest challenges to mobility and accessing key public services.

In response to this dilemma, USAID/OTI's Burkina Faso Regional Program (BFRP), in collaboration with the National Identification Office (ONI) - and with the mayors’ offices of Fada N'Gourma and Matiakoali in Est region, Djibo and Gorom-Gorom in Sahel region, and Thiou in Nord region - initiated a national campaign to provide identity cards and birth certificates to nearly 40,000 people free of charge. The Est regional phase of the campaign resulted in more than 9,500 residents receiving free ID documents, exceeding the initial target of 4,500 for this municipality.

Only a few months after receiving their identity cards, several beneficiaries in Fada N’Gourma stated that they could now travel freely inside the city as well as to surrounding villages, passing through security checkpoints without any issues. Freedom of movement has allowed locals the ability to gain access to new markets. "With the ID card, I was able to move around and conduct my income-generating activities without the hassle I had experienced before," said Marina, a 21-year-old internally displaced woman who did not have identity documents before the campaign. Several IDPs, who could not access some aid programs because they did not have identity documents, were finally able to apply for assistance. For Lassana, an IDP from the village of Wobrebuli, located 40 kilometers from Fada, "getting the ID card was a big relief for us [IDPs] because to access aid from the state or from NGOs, you are required to have an identity card." At the national ID campaign handover ceremony, another recipient of the free ID card expressed gratitude on behalf of the beneficiaries. In commending the mayor's office, he said, "thanks to this activity, we have emerged from the shadows and we can now enjoy all of our rights."

These campaigns in the Est, the Nord and the Sahel regions also benefit local officials by helping them demonstrate that the government has not abandoned these communities. ID card activities permit greater freedom of movement and increase populations’ access to key state services, including the right to register and vote in local and national elections. Further, ID card activities encourage additional initiatives to provide key state services to local populations in high-risk areas, including rehabilitation of water points, since people will be better able to access these services. As the Governor of Est region emphasized during the closing ceremony, "The ID card is a tool for the emancipation of all citizens."

Last updated: September 12, 2022

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