Close to 900 delegates from 43 African nations and 20 international development agencies are attending the ID4Africa’s 3rd Annual Conference on Government Forum on Electronic Identity in Africa, which started on Tuesday in Windhoek.The two-day conference is being held under the theme: “Pathways to Digital Identity”.
Home Affairs and Immigration minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana said the objective of the annual gathering is to “share experiences and establish real world best practices that set the correct expectations for what is involved in launching and sustaining successful identity programmes”.
She said the forum further provides an opportunity for delegates to share experiences and best practices “for developing, deploying and operating national e-ID card schemes and government electronic services for citizens”.
In addition, the conference focuses on cross border and regional identity, and the importance of developing identity schemes that interoperate among African nations to facilitate free movement and economic exchange.
“Namibia was selected as the host due to its exceptional achievements in terms of Civil Registration and Identity Management.
“The Government of the Republic of Namibia has improved its civil registration system partly through digitalization of all historical records and processes during the past eight years.
“We are among the few African countries with an integrated Civil Registration and ID management system, and birth and death registration rates close to 90 percent.
“The Namibia Government also has strong inter-ministerial partners with key civil registration partners such as the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Ministry of Justice and the police force,” the minister went on.
This conference also sets a record as one of the largest identity and biometrics expositions in the world, where close to 100 international companies will exhibit and demonstrate their latest innovations in identity technologies and solutions, all adapted for Africa.
ID4Africa is a multi-stakeholder movement that promotes the transparency and responsible adoption of digital identity in the service of development in Africa.
This conference is held annually in different African countries. The inaugural gathering was held in Tanzania in 2015, followed by a milestone one in Rwanda in 2016 that demonstrated the strength and sustainability of the ID4Africa movement, Minister Iivula-Ithana further noted.