A project to put in place a central digital database containing the civil status information of all citizens of Cameroon is in the works. This is according to the country’s National Civil Status Registration Office (BUNEC).

BUNEC officials say when the system would have been put in place, information related to births, deaths, and civil unions will henceforth be recorded and stored digitally in a way that it can easily be accessed and referenced from wherever. At the moment, Cameroon’s civil status registration system is still analog and less secure as files containing civil status information of citizens remain piled up in office cupboard shelves.

Alexandre Marie Yomo, director-general of BUNEC said in a recent interview that a great deal of work is being done to modernize the system as plans are underway to acquire the necessary equipment. He said once the equipment is in place, work to key in archived civil status information being kept by civil status registration centers will commence, while the collection of new such information will henceforth be done digitally.

BUNEC's headquarters in Cameroon's capital, Yaounde.

Digital system will simplify, secure civil status registration in Cameroon

According to BUNEC officials, digitizing the system will not only simplify and facilitate the process of civil status registration, it will also greatly enhance the security of civil status information.

“This system, which will centralize civil status information recorded throughout the national territory and at the civil status registration centers of Cameroon’s embassies and consular services, is in the process of being put in place,” BUNEC’s director-general said in a recent interview to state-run Cameroon Tribune newspaper.

Yomo said the project will be implemented beginning with a pilot phase that will involve councils and civil status registration centers in the capital, Yaounde, and its environs. During this period, civil status information in the archives of these councils will be digitized, he said. The process will then continue progressively in all the councils of the country. The digitization process will also include the revision of the country’s civil status law of 1981 which currently doesn’t make provision for the digital collection and storage of civil status information, Yomo added.

In Cameroon, local councils are the entities principally responsible for issuing civil status documents such as birth and marriage certificates. However, there are other special civil status centers headed by special civil status registrars who work under oath. Cameroon currently has 2, 820 civil status registration centers both at home and in its diplomatic missions abroad, according to statistics from BUNEC.

Share this via: