ID4Africa unveils restructured 2024 Ambassadors Program to foster collaboration on legal identity agenda
ID4Africa has unveiled its 2024 batch of Ambassadors and deputies, with major changes to how the program will function, going forward.
In an announcement today January 18, the identity movement said the novelty expands the scope of the program so as to drive up interagency collaboration within the national Bureaus of Ambassadors.
In the last year, the Ambassadors Program, which consists of high-level government officials working in the domain of legal identity, recorded significant success in its work with digital ID being recognized as a digital public infrastructure, the release notes. The plan in 2024, it says, is to take the collaboration among important stakeholders in the identity ecosystem a notch high.
This year’s changes include an increase in the number of ambassadors – from 93 last year, to 121 in 2024, among them 42 women. Selected from 47 African countries (one less than last year), each country Bureau had the latitude to have up to two deputy ambassadors, with at least one each from the ICT field and the identity Authority.
“We, at ID4Africa, are reinforcing and strengthening our Ambassadors Bureaus to foster collaboration among the different agencies. The Ambassadors have been doing a brilliant job as liaisons between the ID4Africa Movement and national identity stakeholders. Now, organized into multi-agency bureaus, they are also tasked with breaking down national silo,” said Dr Joseph Atick, executive chairman of ID4Africa.
Atick added that he is also pleased with the enthusiasm and endorsement for the program and hopes it adds some traction to the push for a harmonized approach to legal identity and the realization of digital transformation strategies and visions by participating countries.
“This level of commitment is unprecedented, with 70% of the Ambassadors being reconfirmed by their hierarchies, and the rest representing new ICT-related growth, as well as turnover because of retirement and career change. This speaks volumes to the confidence that the member countries have in the Movement and to the benefits that they derive from being associated with it.”
The ID4Africa Ambassadors Program started in 2016, and since then, it has not only acted as a pool of intelligence and expertise, but also as a body that proffers invaluable support and direction for the movement in responding to emerging identity-related needs.
“Despite the political instabilities and upheaval that have plagued the recent past, notably in 2023, we have only lost one member country. This is attributed to the absence of a functioning government to reconfirm and adhere to the membership requirements. Nevertheless, despite the challenging political landscape, we will continue our efforts to bring in the few remaining countries that have not yet joined the Movement,” Atick remarks.
ID4frica also announced that in 2024, six Ambassadors are retiring to join a list of 13 others (totaling 19) who have been given the honorary appellation of ’Ambassador Emeritus’ – a recognition for having completed their 4-year mandate and for contributing toward advancing the identity project in their respective countries.
The release of the ID4Africa 2024 class of Ambassadors comes just weeks before the movement kicks off registration for its 2024 General Meeting billed of Cape Town, South Africa, in May.