March 22, 2017 -
ID4Africa, the organization that promotes the transparent and responsible adoption of digital ID management in the service of development in Africa, has released a detailed annual survey of African governments focused on understanding the continent’s identification requirements.
The survey found that Africa’s priorities are focused on pragmatically putting in place and operationalizing robust, high coverage identification systems. The survey also found that government priorities seem to be driven by national concerns and not by regional or global considerations.
According to the survey, 85 percent of respondents believe that their respective country’s healthcare systems are in a dire need of “a functional, modern and responsive ID scheme” to deal with a myriad of applications within the healthcare sector.
Sixty-five percent of respondents said they were willing to adopt cloud-based identity solutions if certain security requirements are considered, and if more education by service providers is offered.
Fifty-three percent of respondents expressed the belief that mobile ID will become more important than physical ID in 10 years, although most governments still hold the strong belief that plastic ID will not be eliminated in the near or mid-term, due to illiteracy and low network and smart device penetration.
Seventy-four percent of respondents noted “the inevitability and the necessity” of linking voter registries to national identity databases. About 50 percent who responded positively said such processes are already underway.
The survey, which polled government officials from 35 African countries, will be used to inform programming at ID4Africa’s annual flagship event, to be held in Windhoek, Namibia from April 26-28, 2017. The survey will be released to both event vendors and delegates.
The event will provide a comprehensive platform for governments, international development agencies, solution providers and domain experts to exchange ideas and information. The aim of the ID4Africa event will be for governments to advance high-level dialogue, share experiences and examine real world best practices.
ID4Africa was founded as a grassroots movement in 2014 and a major goal for the organization is to assist in the development of practical e-ID schemes in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal 16.9, which calls upon member states to provide legal identity for all, including birth registration by 2030.