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Identity in support of Democracy: An Important Topic for ID4Africa

How should Identification Systems be used in support of Democracy?
What synergies are possible to realize between voter systems and national identity systems?
These are only a couple of the questions that will be addressed at the ID4Africa Forum. Particularly pertinent to this topic is Workshop 5, led by the UNDP, an organization that has the most extensive hands on experience supporting electoral systems.

Spotlight on Workshop 5: Identity for Democracy

In our series of spotlights on different sessions, this week we will focus on Workshop 5 (Day 2, 13:25-15:00).

This workshop addresses the following topics:
  1. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of linking or delinking voter registers from foundational registers.
  2. Gaining practical knowledge how to perform identity enrolment & verification
  3. Exploring new technological modalities that could be game changers in this regard (iris recognition)

The impressive lineup consists of:

Niall McCann
Lead Electoral Advisor

Niall will give an overview of the UN activities in support of identity management focusing on the issue of how a single foundational register could support all identification needs including elections and national ID. Niall will answer the why and how of conducting harmonization of identity based on the UNDP's vast experience through the sensitive issues that could undermine success.

William A. Davies
Executive Secretary
National Electoral Commission
Sierra Leone

William will provide the practical experience that Sierra Leone has had in migrating an electoral register to a national identity register that will be the basis upon which all future identification needs are met. What are the challenges of enriching a register that was constructed for a particular purpose for general identification needs?

Dr. Ahmat Ali Hissein
Directeur General
Buereau Permanent des Elections, Commission Electorale Independente

Dr Hissein will share the experience that Chad had in conducting a comprehensive biometric census of the population which was aimed at supporting the April 2016 elections but which resulted in a foundational database that can now reinforce other identification needs. How will this new robust identity register be institutionalized and for what purpose will it be used post elections?

Mohamoud Wais
Vice Chairman
Somaliland National Electoral Commission

Mohamoud Wais will share the experience that Somaliland has had in pioneering the adoption of iris technology for foundational registers in support of electoral needs. This is the first instance in Africa of such deployment and should be of interest for its scalability, cost effectiveness and ease of use. Has Somaliland demonstrated the viability of this promise?

Bart Symons
SSenior Technical Consultant
Zetes PASS

Bart will give an overview of lessons learned over 10 years of putting voter registers in place and conducting voter registration and verification exercises in difficult and challenging conditions that constraint strategy and rollout of most of these programs. How can you ensure success under these circumstances? The to dos and do nots.

Directly following the presentations, audience members will be able to engage directly in a moderated discussion with the presenters.

To attend this highly educational workshop please register today!


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Details about the 2nd Annual Government Forum on Electronic Identity in Africa can be found on our website at, or contact Veronica at or +86-18621610933.

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