Part or chapter of a book
The social and political life of identity papers in contemporary Africa
Identification and Citizenship in Africa. Biometrics, the Documentary State and Bureaucratic Writings of the Self
London : Routledge
1 - 26 p.
Africa, identity papers, citizenship, biometrics
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explores scope to refine, and sometimes considerably qualify, certain points of this interpretation. It explains that personal identity booklets began to be issued in conjunction with the census in 1930. The book argues that the bureaucratic mobilization for the ethnic registration of Rwandans began immediately after independence, with major political effects. It describes the post-war identification reforms undertaken by the Ouattara regime certainly helped to deradicalize this ideological opposition under a technicist veneer, but at the price of a general amnesty for documentary fraud that amounted to state institutionalization of identity falsification. The book focuses on the use of ethnic identity cards in the violent history of Rwanda, and the preparation and conduct of the 1994 genocide.