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ID4Africa marks its second anniversary with doubled attendance at Annual Event Opening in Kigali Rwanda 24 May 2016

With clear need and interest throughout the African continent, ID4Africa’s Annual Meeting attracts record number of registered delegates from government identity authorities to technology producers and development agencies.

Kigali, Rwanda: The 2nd Annual Government Meeting of the ID4Africa Movement, opens on Tuesday 24 May 2016 in the Rwandan capital, hosted by the National Identification Agency (NIDA) of Rwanda. Over 650 delegates from 36 African and 29 non-African nations will spend three days exchanging knowledge and experience related to digital identity and will set the working agenda and priorities for the year to come for development of identification systems in Africa. They are joined by representatives of 11 international development and United Nations’ agencies that recognize the importance of legal identity as a driver of socioeconomic development.

The theme this year is “Digital Identity: The Practical Guide” as the event delves into what practicalities are required for authorities to successfully launch identity programs, an agenda that was set in the inaugural meeting of the movement, held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in June 2015.

This year, presentations and workshops will be given by government officials as well as some of the world’s leading experts in identity aiming to deliver the requisite know-how. Topics will include the linkage of civil registration and national ID, the application of identity systems in support of democracy and elections as well as social protection, and will cover important governance and legal framework matters including privacy and data protection. Participants will also hear updates from several national identity authorities that have already begun implementation of such systems, as well as policy briefs from development agencies including the World Bank, African Development Bank, the African Union, the French Development Agency, and ECOWAS. These presentations introduce the national authorities to the range of financial and technical assistance programs available from these agencies, and that can accompany the authorities in support of their mission of developing ID systems.

Finally, some of the globe’s leading providers of ID systems will present at the Forum and will exhibit, at the Exposition running parallel to the Forum, their latest innovations in technologies and solutions pertinent to identity and security. The dual format of a combined exposition and forum proved to be very successful last year in the breadth of information and networking made available to all attendees in such a short amount of time. This format creates a concrete context for the three stakeholders: the identity authorities, the development agencies, and the identity solution providers to come together to discuss, explore, and demonstrate. The organizers are very confident of another intense and hugely informative and useful event.

This year’s event comes in the aftermath of the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and in particular Goal 16.9, which calls on member states to provide legal identity for all, including birth registration by 2030. Dr. Joseph Atick, Executive Chairman of ID4Africa said, “The adoption of this goal provides a mandate and should facilitate funding for identity related projects and initiatives and should empower identity authorities to carry out their national missions within an internationally recognized and accepted framework.” He continued, “While this is an important milestone. It is not prescriptive. It does not explain how to achieve this goal and that is where ID4Africa will continue to play an important role. As a multi-stakeholder movement, we are able to extract best practices from the collective experience and multi-perspectives that our constituency embodies.” He concluded “More than ever ID4Africa is a movement that empowers African authorities to take identity matters into their own hands for the benefit of all Africans. It responds to a clear and present need, underscored by SDG 16.9.”

The event includes a site visit hosted by NIDA that gives the African government delegates hands-on demonstrations of the best practices adopted in Rwanda. To commemorate the event, a special ID4Africa report entitled “The Identity Ecosystem of Rwanda: A Case Study of a Performant ID System in an African Development Context” is being released and will be made available in hard copy to all attending delegates as well as in electronic form online. See report here.

The Director General of NIDA, Pascal Nyamulinda said, “We are very pleased to have been chosen to be the host of ID4Africa 2016. Identification systems have been one of the key projects of our National Information and Communication Infrastructure strategy and a key layer in the systems integration and e-Government framework.” He added, “The record number of participants this year demonstrates how important this subject has become to all of us in Africa. An individual without a unique identity cannot function in a developing society that increasingly relies on e-Government for delivery of services.”

At the event, the organizers will also announce the 2017 host country and will officially appoint the ID4Africa Ambassadors for the 2016/2017 term.

About ID4Africa:
ID4Africa is a multi-stakeholder movement that promotes the transparent and responsible adoption of digital identity in the service of development in Africa. The aim is to share experience and establish real world best practices that set the correct expectations for what is involved in launching and sustaining successful identity programs.

Contact: Margaret Van Cleve
+1 412 841 4662

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