ID4Africa publishes report on Rwandan identity ecosystems

May 31, 2016 - 

ID4Africa, the organization that promotes the transparent and responsible adoption of digital ID management in the service of development in Africa, has published a report on the identity ecosystem in Rwanda. The report was released at the ID4Africa Forum held in Kigali last week.

The commemorative report, authored by ID4Africa, presents Rwanda as a model for a robust, harmonized, multi-element identity ecosystem that provides several lessons that could be useful for other African countries. The report is designed for information transfer tool for African identity authorities, allowing them to learn about Rwanda’s experiences and establish best practices.

“Rwanda has created an ecosystem that is focused on people and is focused on delivering services based on identity infrastructure,” said Dr. Joesph J. Atick, Chairman of ID4Africa. “We think this is a very performant identity system and ID4Africa wanted to create a study that would make information about it available to other African nations.”

The report helps other countries set the correct expectations for what is involved in launching and sustaining successful identity programs. ID4Africa definitively called Rwanda’s identity ecosystem “remarkable” due to 10 factors:

• A national population register that covers 95 percent of the population.
• A unified social register covering between 2.3 and 2.5 million households
• Extensive administrative processes that link civil registration events to national population register for updating both national population and social registries
• A national identity card that has been issued to 90 percent of the population along with a unique identifying number issued for administration
• Lowest cost in Africa for mandatory national identity card (under US$1) subsidized by other credentials (i.e., driver’s licenses, etc.)
• Optional eID is offered to those that need it and can afford it
• The electoral registry is supported by the national identity card
• The national identity card can be used as a travel document in the East African community
• Established online identity verification
• A sustainable, self-sufficient national identity agency that covers operating costs from its services exclusively

The report provides an essential guide to identity ecosystems in general, along with providing a holistic overview and offers a number of lessons for consideration aimed at other African identity authorities that desire to establish or strengthen their legal identity systems.

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BiometricUpdate.com was the official journalist for the 2016 forum and exposition.

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About Rawlson King

Rawlson O’Neil King is a contributing editor at BiometricUpdate.com and is an experienced communications professional, management consultant, trade journalist and author who recently published a book about control and electronic networks and who has written numerous articles in trade publications and academic journals about smart home and building technologies. Follow him @rawlsonking2.