The Mobile Identity Saga – Part 3/4

From the producers of the critically acclaimed “The Dark Side of Identity” Trilogy, get ready for yet another exciting and thought-provoking series focused on mobile for ID4D!

Mobile phones have impacted every aspect of our lives in a most profound way, and their influence  continues to grow, accelerated in recent times by the advent of mobile payments and credentials. In developed countries, today they are used routinely to attest for the COVID-19 vaccination status, to affect payments, and generally to assist individuals in their daily lives and to keep them connected as active members of society.  They have become the unique object that we cannot leave home without and the one that replaces everything else that we would normally carry.

While the convenience  of mobile phones in developed countries is uncontestable, they take another degree of significance within the development context that goes beyond convenience. In that context, they may be a necessity for empowering the poor and for a meaningful and dignified existence in a community.

This is especially true in remote and rural areas, where mobile phones often represent the only means for access and participation.

In the development context, policies such as SIM registration have set the stage for SIM numbers and mobile phones to become the proxy to individual digital identity. As such, access to mobile phones becomes a key prerequisite for inclusion. In fact, as a proxy to identity, access to affordable mobile phones could be considered a human right, especially as more and more essential services become exclusively available via that channel.

It is therefore abundantly clear that the topic of mobile for identity development is one of utmost importance.

This was validated by the call for speakers we issued on the topic, which has resulted in record high submissions (over 130 candidates). As a result we are telling the story of mobile and identity within a 4-part series, we call “The Mobile Identity Saga” for short.  To tell this story we interviewed nearly 100 of the most promising applicants and supplemented them by recruiting subject matter experts and thought leaders. Together they will help us tell this powerful story.

All in all, over 45 speakers are now cast in 4 LiveCast episodes covering 15 segments.

Join Part 3 of Our Saga!

The Saga began by focusing on pro-poor policies and solutions to explore the range of the possible and the enabling environment and technologies required to get there. Part 2 further explored ways in which identity development can be teamed with mobile usage/ access to accelerate inclusion. WATCH PART 1 & PART 2.

Part 3 takes it up a notch to explore some of the most promising use cases that hold disruptive potential. We will hear how mobile is establishing key prerequisites for empowerment and economic growth in a modern economy as we examine themes such as mobile biometrics, accelerating financial inclusion, mobile for humanitarian action and facilitating digital presence.


This Saga is a must-watch series. Beyond being a story about one of the most important disruptive forces in our lives, it is being told through the voices of dozens of experts from all over the world, and is produced under the direction of the world’s most prominent identity expert, Dr. Joseph Atick and his seasoned production team at ID4Africa. Together they have produced for you thus far, over 70 hours of high quality and pertinent content through 28 LiveCasts that have covered many aspects of identity. This same team brought you the hit episodes such as The Dark Side of Identity Trilogy (season 3) and the Vaccination Trilogy (season 2). If you enjoy these productions, you’re guaranteed to love this Saga.

So mark your calendar and register TODAY!


Dr. Joseph Atick

Executive Chairman

Dr. Joseph Atick is a recognized world renowned advocate and expert on identity matters. Having been one of the founders of the identity industry nearly 30 years ago, he led several companies in that domain and developed some of the foundational algorithms underlying secure digital identity today, including the first commercially viable face recognition algorithm.

Dr. Atick retired from the industry in 2010 to focus on promoting identity for social and economic development around the world. In that mission he partnered with the World Bank and other UN agencies, and was heavily involved in the development and field testing of the methodology and analytic tools that would guide the subsequent activities in that space, and would lead to the launch of the ID4D initiative at the World Bank.

In 2014, he co-founded ID4Africa as a pan-African Movement to promote responsible digital transformations through digital identity in Africa. He is a staunch defender of privacy, data protection and human rights and continues to provide counsel to governments and international organization on the use of identity for public good. Dr. Atick holds a Ph.D. in Mathematical Physics from Stanford University.

Mobile Biometrics
Rahul Parthe

Rahul Parthe

CTO, Founder & Chairman

Chairman of TECH5 SA, Rahul Parthe oversees the company’s product and technology strategy. Rahul was the key system biometric service provider architect of the UIDAI program which has enrolled more than 1.3B identities to date in India. He is also the lead architect for the Indonesia National ID that now holds 193 million tri-modal enrollments. Other key organizations include Identix, L1 Identity Solutions, Securimetrics, Morpho and InterBio.

Bart-Jan Pors

Director, Inclusive Fintech

Bart-Jan is responsible for the GSMA Inclusive Tech Lab, an innovation facility in which the wider mobile industry works together on inclusive innovations relevant to the future of digital and financial services in developing markets. Jointly with partners, his team researches, develops, and trials technological solutions for the industry’s biggest challenges and opportunities related to financial and digital inclusion.
Financial Inclusion

Saloni Tandon

Senior Manager
MicroSave Consulting

Saloni is a Senior Manager at MSC’s Banking, Financial Services and Insurance domain. She has eight years of experience in social research and development consulting in financial inclusion, social security, gender equality, and sustainable livelihoods. Through her assignments, she has worked closely with the Government of India, as well as donor agencies (multi and bi-lateral), financial institutions, not for profit institutions and self-regulatory organizations across developing nations. 

Anita Mittal

Lead Identification technical Expert
World Bank

Anita Mittal is a lead technical expert with the World Bank’s Identification for Development (ID4D) Initiative. She provides technical solution architectures and guidance to World Bank country clients on the design and implementation of ID systems and contributes to publications for ID4D. She has extensive experience in implementing e-Governance projects, including India’s Aadhaar project. She also leads the Digital Convergence Initiative for  GIZ for promoting integrated and interoperable social protection information systems. 

Sandy Rheeder

Chief Information Officer
Mukuru Africa

Sandy Rheeder is the Chief Information Officer at Mukuru, one of Africa’s largest remittances focused fintech’s enabling financial services for Africa’s emerging consumer. She joined the company in March 2017, after 16 years in IT consulting for a wide range of Financial Services companies, and was appointed CIO in August 2019. She is passionate about creating technology solutions that really meet customers’ needs. Mukuru is a company that embodies this thinking, enabling its African customer base to walk a path to financial inclusion.
Humanitarian Action

Sharanya Thakur

Project Manager

Sharanya is the project manager at Gravity, a French-Kenyan start-up that provides digital identity solutions to help individuals and organizations access services such as credit, education and humanitarian aid. She has extensive experience in monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian programmes. At Gravity, she participated in deploying digital identity solutions with United Nations in Turkey and Red Cross Society in Kenya.

Priyanka Patel

Innovation and Partnership Officer
Kenya Red Cross Society

Priyanka is a vibrant and enthusiastic professional with over 6 years’ experience in innovative approaches, project management, and partner relationships to support community focused solutions and adoption of best practices. Mentoring youth on innovative methodologies and creative thinking is amongst the multiple strengths she possesses. A strategic thinker, a passionate enabler of humanitarian solutions, a great communicator, Priyanka advocates for humanitarian solutions designed with and for the community for sustainability and better ownership.  

Facilitating Digital Presence

Barry Cooper

Technical Director
Center for Financial Regulations and Inclusion (CENFRI)

Barry Cooper is a Technical Director at CENFRI. He is a legal advisor and banking expert, specializing in financial inclusion and regulation, biometrics and identity, innovation market analysis, financial sector policy and regulatory strategy for development, and supporting governments on making markets work for the poor. He is currently leading training of FSPs, DNFBPs and regulators in selected Eastern and Southern African countries on the above. 

Mark Straub

Co-founder and CEO
Smile Identity

Mark is the Co-founder and CEO of Smile Identity. He has spent much of his career trying to help people in underserved markets get access to better opportunities through technology and entrepreneurship. Mark was a venture investor for a decade and worked with over 20 companies doing business in adtech, fintech, healthcare, and energy in markets ranging from the US and China to India and Sub-Saharan Africa. Working with Vinod Khosla at Khosla Impact, he led investments in Kopo Kopo, NeoGrowth, Milaap, Branch, and Flutterwave; and he was an investor in all three of Elon Musk’s companies during his time at DFJ.

Gillian Hammah

Group Chief Marketing Officer
Databank Group

Gillian Hammah is the Group Chief Marketing Officer for Databank. She has over 25 years’ experience in financial services. She leads a Marketing team comprised of project managers, copywriters and graphic designers, plus a sales team of over 120 staff across 19 branches.  

Prior to joining Databank, Gillian worked for Invesco Canada – a leading asset management firm in North America, with branches in over 20 countries. She has proven success creating and executing award-winning marketing campaigns, both in Canada – where she lived for 19 years – and in Ghana.  

Gillian is recognized for her strong management and strategic planning capabilities. She is inspiring and decisive and is motivated by excellence and results. She was recognized as one of the 50 most influential CMOs in Ghana for 2019.  

Gillian holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from York University (Canada) and a Masters in Marketing Strategy from the University of Ghana Business School. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate, pursuing a PhD in Business Administration at Nobel International Business School.

Special thanks to our Development Partners

This LiveCast is brought to you with the proud support of our development partners – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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