African states urged to close gap on legal identity

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has called for African countries to take more action to close the identity gap in Africa. The call was made ahead of a high-level conference of African ministers responsible for civil registration, slated from October 14 to 18.

Director of the UNECA’s Africa Centre for Statistics, Oliver Chinganya stressed that it was important for African countries to harmonise civil registration with digital identity systems in order to monitor progress towards sustainable development goals (SDGs). UNECA estimates that more than 500 million Africans have no legal identity. This includes 120 million children who do not have birth certificates. SDGs envisage provision of legal identity to all by 2030.