The 2018 Annual Meeting recognizes that by now many identity repositories, schemes, and databases have been developed in most African countries. These may be the result of functional schemes, such as voter registers or universal healthcare, or the outcome of foundational initiatives such as the reform of the CRVS or the modernization of the national identity cards. In any case, it is likely that none of these schemes provides a total coverage of the population and they are most probably not linked. As a consequence, the identity ecosystem in the country appears fragmented and incapable of serving the end-to-end needs for identification of people from cradle to death.
The 2018 Program emphasizes that these fragments of identity systems may still be valuable as a starting point if the political will exists to harmonize them to create a foundation for an integrated identification system in the country that can serve the needs of all sectors. We believe that the time is right to take on the subject of harmonization as the theme for our Annual Meeting in 2018. As a byproduct of this theme, focus will also be on data as a driver of change in the identity ecosystems in Africa.