ID4Africa in-person return sees new high for countries represented, delegate seniority
ID4Africa returns to its roots as an annual in-person event this week in Marrakesh, Morocco, with the ID4Africa 2022 Annual General Meeting convening leading biometrics vendors, the international development and digital ID communities, and governments from across Africa and around the world.
Taking place at the Palais des Congrès at Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi June 15 and 16, the in-person portion of the AGM will be followed by virtual Livecasts on June 28 and 30. The live portion is expected to be attended by representatives of over 600 organizations and 51 African countries, many of them senior level government officials.
They will discuss the continent’s top priorities around identity for development and humanitarian efforts.
“We are thrilled with the exceedingly high level of response and eagerness we are seeing from the African and international communities to unite once again despite the various limitations still being experienced in travel,” comments Dr. Joseph Atick, executive chairman of ID4Africa. “We have set several new records in terms of number of countries and organizations represented, and the level of seniority of the delegates. This is a significant testament to the importance of this year’s meeting to the whole world.”
The return to a live setting is the first since ID4Africa 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria, follows a two-year COVID-imposed hiatus. During that time, the Movement launched its highly successful series of Livecast webinars.
“We are also excited about the innovation in engagement format that Augmented conferencing is enabling us to offer,” Atick adds. “We are leveraging the best of both worlds – physical and virtual – and driving the community towards ongoing engagement, with working groups that we hope will be permanent, as opposed to stop-and-go interactions that characterized the past. In many ways ID4Africa 2022 will be remembered as an important milestone, where the Movement rebooted its engagement channels to take advantage of digital transformation—a good example of practicing what we preach.”
Education and debate
The Day 1 agenda includes a panel of leaders from nine national identity authorities which have modernized their country’s identification systems, and an afternoon forum on technology solutions supporting such improvements.
Morocco’s Minister of Digital Transformation and Administrative Reform Dr. Ghita Mezzour will deliver a keynote on the country’s digital transformation, in one of two keynotes.
The second day will feature four workshops, chaired by ID4Africa development partners DPGA (Digital Public Goods Alliance), UNICEF, IOM (the UN Migration Organization), and the World Bank.
Many of the seven recommendations by Tony Blair Institute for Global Change head of Digital ID Yiannis Theodorou from a commentary on technology policy and digital government will be directly addressed during the presentations. Theodorou urges governments to consider appointing a champion (who could serve as an ID4Africa Ambassador), identify high-value use cases, address the underserved, prioritize mobile-based solutions, provide regulatory and legislative backing, work towards interoperability and use global standards, and consistently monitor and assess system implementation.
Massive technology exhibition
Demonstrations of new biometric technologies and products designed for use in Africa will be held throughout the event, in an exhibition hall featuring nearly 100 vendors and organizations
Biometric Update will serve as the Official Journalist for the event, covering all aspects with articles written live on location, as well as presenting interviews and perspectives from around ID4Africa 2022.