We are excited to launch “Analysing the Impact of Digital ID Frameworks on Marginalised Groups in Sub-Saharan Africa,” a new report authored by Rose Mosero, currently a legal advisor to the Ministry of ICT, Innovation, and Youth Affairs in Kenya. The report aims to address the introduction and implementation of digital identity systems in sub-Saharan Africa, by analyzing regulatory instruments and assessing the effects of the adoption of the systems in remedying the lack of inclusion of marginalised communities.

The report, which was funded through CYRILLA’s Applied Research and Advocacy grants, compares and contrasts the rollout of digital ID systems in four sub-Saharan African countries: Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. In each case study, Rose Mosero outlines the legal framework, details the rollout of the system, and examines its impact on marginalized communities, which is particularly relevant because the four countries host a combined 175 million unregistered people. 

To provide an equitable qualitative account of the issues facing Sub-Saharan African countries relating to roll out of digital ID Systems, these countries were selected because they are located in East (Kenya), West (Nigeria), South (South Africa) and Central (Cameroon) Africa. Broadly, they are the leading economies (bellwether countries) in their respective regions and, importantly, have implemented digital ID systems with corresponding regulatory and administrative regimes to implement the said systems.There have been publicized challenges, for example, from a legal perspective (e.g. litigation) in the space of marginalization and digital rights e.g. access and data privacy.

Ultimately the report finds sub-Saharan African countries face challenges that require a more nuanced and rights-based approach when introducing digital ID systems. The challenges fall broadly into the following categories: universality, governance, fit for purpose technology, and legislative inefficiencies including lack of comprehensive protections of rights, including privacy. You can download the report below.

Rose is a legal advisor who engages with both the government and private sector on matters relating to Data Protection, Technology and Digital Economy. She is currently engaged as an advisor in the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs (Kenya), assisting in operationalizing the newly established Office of the Data Protection Commissioner. Rose is a dually registered lawyer having been admitted as an Australian Legal Practitioner and an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. Rose is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) and Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM), having received her certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals.  She has a keen interest in privacy and data protection.  Rose also has an interest in research related to the interplay of data protection, innovation and technology, and human rights.
You can find her on Twitter at @moserorose or you can reach out via email at mosero.rose[at]gmail.com.

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