AU holds consultation on continental digital ID interoperability framework

The African Union Commission (AUC) held a consultative workshop to receive input on its draft digital ID framework developed by a digital ID taskforce. The process, supported by German development cooperation agency GIZ, was open to civil society, researchers and the general public. The Head of Information Society Division at the AUC, Moses Bayingana, explained that contributions from the consultation would be collated and presented to member states for consideration.

The framework is anchored on Africa’s Vision 2063 and the Africa Digital Transformation Strategy. Complementary policy initiatives on digital ID on the continent include UNECA’s Digital Identity, Trade and Digital Economy (DITE), Smart Africa’s Digital Identity Blueprint, West Africa Unique IDs for Regional Integration and Inclusion (WURI) program and EAC Common Market Protocol under which member states are studying options for mutual recognition of national IDs. Among issues raised by participants included the risk of exclusion for people whose countries with problematic national ID systems. Participants also recommended that the taskforce link the document to human rights frameworks such as the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR).