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Digital identity evaluation tools to be turned on Africa

Biometrics and digital ID

Coinciding with events for International ID Day, the Digital Identities Design and Uses project is launching an evaluation of digital ID systems being deployed across Africa.

The Digital Identities Design and Uses project is operated by the Centre for Internet and Society and supported by Omidyar Network India. In 2019 the Centre for Internet and Society developed an Evaluation Framework for Digital Identity to examine digital ID systems worldwide across three types of test: rule of law, rights-based and risk-based.

The project is now turning its evaluations to Africa. It has partnered with Research ICT Africa, a think tank devoted to the development of a sustainable information society and digital economy. Together they are working with local partners across ten African companies to apply their evaluation framework to the digital ID systems.

“Recently, many countries across the African continent have been sites of rapid deployment of national digital ID programmes, often without sufficient regulatory oversight or accountability, and in the absence of a clear governing framework,” states the announcement. The group notes the discrimination, exclusion and scope for surveillance of systems being implemented.

The country-level findings will go towards a “public repository” of African digital ID systems as a website entitled ‘State of Africa ID’ which will include notes on statutory, governance and design elements of digital ID in the countries covered: Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

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