Calls for Speakers

ID4Africa is always looking for experts in identity matters who are able to share their experiences related to specific themes timely & pertinent to Africa. If you are an identity stakeholder and would like to participate, please bookmark & revisit this page often for open opportunities or write to us at speakers@id4africa.com

Please note: There is no financial or other consideration for participation in the ID4Africa LiveCasts. Selection of participants in any of the episodes is based on a rigorous, merit-based review of submissions received in response to the open Call for Participation. In addition, selection to participate should not be interpreted as an endorsement by ID4Africa of the presenting company or organization.  ID4Africa is vendor-neutral, provides equal opportunity, and does not endorse any particular solution, technology or service.

Please scroll down to find and select the session you wish to apply for.

Feb 16: Mobile for Inclusive Digital ID4D

Mobile telephones and devices are emerging around the world as ideal platforms for carrying secure digital credentials that can be authenticated and used for on- and offline transactions. They offer a more powerful and flexible alternative to smart cards, but by and large require high end mobile phones. While these so called smart phones are readily available to majority of the populations in developed countries, they remain far from being affordable by all in developing countries. This is unfortunate given their inherent potential as game changers for digital identity and raises the question about the extent to which more affordable phones, such as feature phones (or basic phones) could be used for inclusive ID4D.

This affordable and omnipresent infrastructure can play a crucial role in accelerating digital transformation and digital identity adoption in developing countries.

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In view of its importance, ID4Africa intends to dedicate at least one LiveCast to this topic (starting Feb 16, 2022). We are calling upon experts in the field to submit their expressions of interest to help stimulate the discussion around how basic (or feature) phones and their associated communication protocols (such as SMS) can be used as trustworthy digital infrastructure in support of ID systems.

Of particular relevance, but not limited to, are the following topics:
  • Technical architecture for how basic/feature phones can be used to perform core identity management, example using feature phones as identity authenticators.
  • How basic/feature phones can be used for identity enrollment or identity event notification (e.g. birth notification or registration, registration of digital identity).
  • How affordable smart mobile phones can be used to affect digital identity enrollment – via mobile apps.
  • Enabling selfie authentication on midrange and high-end phones.
  • An exploration of the online services that can be supported by basic/feature phones.
  • Understanding how privacy can be assured on such low-end platforms.
  • Understanding their use for offline authentication.
  • Other affordable mobile platforms and operating systems that support digital identity. For example a discussion of what low-cost phones provided by Reliance Jio, or those based on the KaiOS mobile operating system, could provide for identity management in developing countries is of significant interest).
  • Technology or business models that enable mobile platforms to become affordable privacy-respecting platforms for ID4D. For example, financial tradeoffs in providing feature phones to incentivize identity enrollment in countries seeking to develop their national population registers.
Who Can Apply
We are inviting qualified experts, thought leaders and practitioners from any sector: government, development agencies, mobile operator associations, academic researchers, industry, civil society etc., to apply.

Submission deadline: January 10, 2022

Nov 17: The Dark Side of Identity: Mitigating the Risks

The session will explore ways in which identity systems could be harmful if not implemented correctly and under sufficient protections. It will examine themes such as exclusion resulting from barriers of access to ID, discrimination based on identity data, gender and racial bias that could be inherent in some biometric technologies, profiling enabled by the use of national population registers as the foundation of service delivery, and generally speaking, the invasion of privacy and the dangers of data breaches, etc.

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We believe the spectrum of dangers can be mitigated and the benefits of identity systems in terms of individual empowerment outweigh their risks, especially if formulated within well-defined legal frameworks and protection guardrails.

Given the importance of this topic, ID4Africa will be organizing a thematic LiveCast on November 17 Dedicated to the subject. If you believe you can contribute to this discussion we invite you to submit an expression of interest to join the panel. Please explain your point of view, your field experience, and your ideas for mitigation.

We also welcome input from anyone who can identify hidden dangers of ID systems or can propose pragmatic protection mechanisms that help build trust and public buy-in into these systems. This will be a panel of experts and practitioners drawn from the global community of stakeholders.

Submission deadline: October 21, 2021

May 26: Identity for Democracy

Identity management has always played an indispensable role in facilitating citizen participation in the democratic process by making possible trustworthy electoral systems based on unique verifiable identities. However, in recent times these systems have suffered unprecedented political attacks seeking to undermine their credibility, and have been under stress, as they had to function under difficult conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The World's current reality calls for reexamining the electoral processes end-to-end to ensure their efficiency and resilience, and to make them withstand political attacks by demonstrating that they are built on processes that are highly resistant to fraud.

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This subject is exceedingly pertinent to every democratic process in the world and failure to achieve the above goal is a threat to peace, stability and the democratic institutions, wherever they may be. In view of the criticality of this subject, ID4Africa intends to produce at least one LiveCast (first will be broadcast live on 26 May 2021) on this topic.

We are calling on the international community including industry, governments, expert consultants, thought leaders, scholars and development agencies that have domain expertise and opinions on democracy and identity management, to manifest their interest in joining us in this project, by submitting pertinent proposals to speak. The scope is worldwide, but given that Africa continues to run a large number of elections each year, we are keen to ensure that the lessons and recommendations are applicable to the Continent.

Any of the following topics would be deemed appropriate for this LiveCast, which we expect will be a mix of short presentations and an expert panel discussion (to be decided based on proposals received):
  • Expert theoretical analysis of how electoral processes should be done to render them inclusive and resistant to fraud. The discussion can be presented conceptually without mention of customers or projects.
  • Real-world case studies or research around the factors that could undermine trust in elections and the measures to mitigate them.
  • Technological solutions that have been fielded and that can be demonstrated to improve the trust in elections at any step. This includes enrollment, deduplication, data vetting, generation of voter roles, voter authentication, results transmission and tallying.
  • Policies for electoral reform or reinforcement, with the dual objective of providing access for all who are eligible while being resilient against fraud.
  • Security measures for ensuring that electoral systems cannot be tampered or hacked
  • Case studies from recent African elections or from territories where policies and technical measures prevented the elections from being contested.
  • Experience with the use of biometrics for voter registration and for authentication of voters.
  • Innovations in credentialing of voters, through, for example, QR codes, mobile voter cards, smart cards, etc
  • Interplay between NIDs, CR and voter systems.
  • Futuristic outlook on voting machines and online voting would be of interest as well.
The goal of the LiveCast is to develop a holistic understanding, and a set of recommendations, for how to design and execute trustworthy elections based on robust identification and data practices that are secure, transparent and acceptable to all parties. Successful applicants will join identity veteran and ID4Africa Executive Chairman, Dr. Joseph Atick, on a tour de force exploration of future proofing elections. Be part of the solution, submit your proposal today.

Submission deadline: April 26, 2021

Apr 8 & 29: Vaccination Certificates & Identity Management

The world has changed, in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic. With that change, it is likely that we will see the birth of a new global credential that is securely tied to a verifiable identity. As more of the world population gets vaccinated it is reasonable to expect that proof of that vaccination and its recency will become a requirement for entry into countries and hence part of the travel credentials like passports and travel documents. It may also become a requirement for a broader range of daily activities, including attending schools or working in an office in certain countries, etc.

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This public health credential raises a myriad of issues, concerns and opportunities--not least of which is the privacy and data protection challenge, and the identity management process to ensure that it is done subject to an international standard that can allow for interoperability and integration with diverse work flows.

This is a massive undertaking, which could be on the scale of the ePassport campaign. It is made even more complicated by the fact that there may be a requirement for ongoing vaccination in the future, which means that the credential needs to be dynamic and capable of being updated by public health officials. The topic is receiving lots of interest and attention but remains incoherent, this new credential does not even have a consistent name--it is referred to by many different names including vaccination certificate, health passport, immunity passport, global health card, etc.

In view of the critical and global importance of this emerging topic and its intimate connection with identity management, ID4Africa intends to explore this subject in an upcoming LiveCast.

We call upon the thought leaders of the global identity community to submit expressions of interest to participate by providing a short abstract of what they can bring to the discussion. We are open to receiving proposals on any aspects of this subject including policy, data protection, travel management, operational identity management, and visionary contributions that could outline how this credential is likely to emerge, become standardized and deployed. All identity stakeholders including industry, government, international organizations, civil society are welcome to submit. If you are an identity stakeholder and wish to contribute to this important topic, then apply online today!

For details or assistance, Email: speakers@id4africa.com.


Submission deadline: March 02, 2021

Mar 10: Gender Matters in ID Systems

In commemoration of International Women’s Day, ID4Africa is organizing a special LiveCast dedicated to gender issues in identity systems. The objective is to explore gender gaps and inform policy on how to rectify them and manage risks of exclusion especially in a digital world in the Post-COVID era, where women appear to have been disproportionately disadvantaged. Consistent with our commitment to total inclusion, the session will advocate for policy and pragmatic measures to ensure that women and girls are not left behind.

If you are an identity stakeholder and wish to contribute to this important topic, then apply online today! For details or assistance, Email: speakers@id4africa.com.

Submission deadline: Feb 15, 2021

Jan 28: Open API's as a Pathway to Identity and Sectorial System Development

This is part II in the two-part series started on December 3rd on the topic of Digital Public Goods as pathways to identity development. In the first episode we discussed open source initiatives as the foundation to developing identity systems that have the potential of serving the public good. In this second episode we will explore the role of Open APIs, that have had a long list of successes in other sectors, when developed as Open Standards.

Dec 3: The Digital Public Goods Initiatives as Pathways to Identity Development

As the role of identity in the daily lives of people continues to grow in significance, an inevitable policy question arises on a global scale: Shouldn’t identity be considered as a public good? This is not just a philosophical question; it has policy and developmental implications. It could be at the heart of a national strategy where identity is commoditized to stimulate innovation and down stream economic growth.

Oct 14: Digital Identity For Emergency Response

ID4Africa is organizing a LiveCast episode that examines the role digital identity plays in emergency response. It will examine the experiences of countries that have managed to quickly develop such systems or those that have linked their emergency response programs to already existing digital identity schemes. The discussion will be focused within the context of social safety nets, labor programs, public health and health services, refugees, pandemic responses, and natural disasters. The objective is to derive lessons learned that could be helpful to countries seeking to quickly launch social programs linked to digital identity.

Sept 16: A Special Spotlight on Inclusion

In light of its importance, ID4Africa will be dedicating an upcoming LiveCast episode to examine, from all angles, the issues impacting inclusion. We are calling on experts, who have informed views on this subject to join an engaging panel moderated by the ID4Africa Executive Chairman, Dr. Joseph Atick. In this live online session you will be given the opportunity to briefly present some prepared remarks, then engage in a discussion. The panel will include government, industry and development agencies.

Sept 3: Spotlight on Face Recognition Technology

The interest in Face Recognition Technology (FRT) as a biometric for identity systems has grown significantly in recent times. A new class of algorithms has emerged through the application of deep learning and artificial intelligence, and is considerably more robust and scalable than prior generations. This new generation, which is available from many sources on the marketplace, is ideal for 1:Many (identification and deduplication) as well as 1:1 (authentication) deployments. Furthermore, the increased interest in touchless biometrics as a result of COVID-19 related concerns, has pushed the demand for FRT to an all-time high.

July 23: Spotlight on Unique Digital Identity Numbers

In response to this need which was identified over a year ago and which has inspired our thematic for 2020 Annual General Meeting (Digital multiplicities of unique identity), ID4Africa is organizing a spotlight session dedicated to the question of the unique identity numbers. It features a lineup of experts that will present the various points of view. The objective is not to promote any particular approach, but to make our community aware of the various approaches that have been established and the experience with those.

June 24: Special Symposium on Industry Response to Covid-19

In part 3 of our webinar series around COVID-19 and Identity management, we will look at how the identity industry is responding to emerging challenges to their customer practices posed by COVID-19. The objective is to identify technological innovations and new business processes that enable identity management to be performed in a world where pandemics represent a major risk factor.