Africa stands as one of the hotbeds of digital ID innovation.
In a recent statement from HID Global, the company provided an update of its digital ID activities in that country. As for resident IDs, healthcare IDs or other forms of national ID cards, the most recent count finds that “eight African countries have either deployed or are developing one or more of these programs using HID Global printers.” Not only that, but “several are also in the early stages of deploying systems for issuing government employee ID cards for use by members of their military and police forces.”
When it comes to refugees, HID — along with other companies and organizations — are turning to digital ID to better monitor the flow of people
Voting also stands as a prime spot for digital ID deployment and innovation. Recently, the West African country of Angola began using HID FARGO printers “to roll out a voter ID program in over 200 municipalities and cities across the country,” according to that recent statement. “Over 650 systems were deployed in Angola to issue over 8 million cards in less than 8 months.”
More broadly, while the digital ID situation in Africa is promising, massive challenges remain.
That point is supported by research from digital ID provider, Yoti. Its results suggest that while there is great promise for betterment of service delivery and life in general for struggling populations, there is a massive gap in understanding and acceptance.
Digital ID efforts in Africa also increasingly involve students and refugees. For instance, the West African Examinations Council “is using HID FARGO Direct-to-Card ID card printers/encoders to improve the efficiency, accuracy and integrity of its educational testing program for more than 2 million students annually.”
And when it comes to refugees, HID — along with other companies and organizations — are turning to digital ID to better monitor the flow of people across borders, and to help meet their needs and provide security. For example, Evernym, a company using distributed ledger technology for identity, said it is working with the Red Cross and four other global nonprofit groups on a project designed to boost the use and power of digital ID for humanitarian purposes.
“Secure issuance is a key part of our identity portfolio that is helping nations in Africa and other emerging economies close a big gap between citizens who have a legal way to identify themselves and those who don’t,” said Craig Sandness, vice president and managing director – Secure Issuance with HID Global.