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ID Day coalition grows by 45 percent, new slogan adopted

ID4Africa urges focus on inclusion, data protection
ID Day coalition grows by 45 percent, new slogan adopted

September 16 will be the fourth International Identity Day, and marks a significant jump in the numbers of organizations supporting the day for recognition of the importance of identity for all as coalition partners.

Coalition partners are up by 45 percent for 2022, with Digital Public Goods Alliance, NADRA, Ethiopia’s NID Program, The Tony Blair Institute, MOSIP, Visa, Africa Digital Rights Hub, Kenya Red Cross Society, and more than 50 others joining the campaign. The new partners represent government agencies, development agencies and NGOs including privacy and humanitarian groups from Africa, Asia and the Americas, according to an announcement from ID4Africa, which launched and is spearheading the campaign.

The new supporters join the World Bank, several UN agencies, Mastercard, GSMA, and a group of national identity authorities in backing ID Day. ID Day is already officially recognized by Nigeria and Namibia. More countries are crafting and considering proposals to legally recognize each September 16 as ID Day. Multiple country-level announcements are expected this week.

ID4Africa Executive Chairman Dr. Joseph Atick notes that if coalition membership was open to identity technology vendors, “we would easily see several hundred more entities joining,” but he remarks in a video address that they are held out “to avoid commercial influence.”

“This enthusiasm from all sectors gives me hope that, working together, we shall get 16 September into the collective conscience of humanity as the International Day of Identity,” he adds. “We are not yet at that point, nor do we intend to rush since the journey is an important opportunity to educate and advocate at national levels before we bring the matter to the international community at the UN General Assembly.”

Organizations are invited to join the coalition, which they can do without taking on any legal or financial obligation.

ID Day has also adopted a slogan, “Because everyone deserves an Identity…Identity deserves a day.”

ID4Africa has determined that the commemorative day for identity should not only keep UN SDG 16.9, to provide legal identity for all including birth registration, as a focus of the international development agenda, but further sensitize the world about three necessary and related outcomes. The day provides an opportunity for renewed commitment to total inclusion, for individuals to assess how well their identity is being used and empower their actions, and remind all to examine how well their data and privacy are protected, according to ID4Africa’s announcement.

“This year the number one action for individuals is to get the word out and for organizations to commemorate the day through events that engage the public and their political leadership,” Atick continues. “The overall campaign is progressing very well as evidenced by several countries already recognizing ID Day with 2-3 more expected to announce official recognition this week. A large number are also commemorating it. However, we need to continue sensitizing and energizing our communities around the meaning and the importance of Identity Day.”

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