Digital technology for legal identity addressed in an African ministerial conference

The Fifth Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Civil Registration was held under the theme ‘Innovative Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System: Foundation for Legal Identity Management’ from 14 to 18 October 2019 in Lusaka, Zambia. During the opening ceremony, Director of the African Centre for Statistics, UNECA Expert Group Meeting, Oliver Chinganya emphasised the importance of harnessing the dividends of digitalisation through adopting digital solutions for civil registration which corresponds to SDG16.9 (provide legal identity for all, including birth registration). Additionally, ‘inclusive and trustworthy civil registration and digital systems are also crucial components for accelerating progress towards many of the sustainable development goal targets relating to poverty, good governance, social protection, financial inclusion, gender equality, migration and universal health coverage,’ noted Zambia’s Home Affairs Permanent Secretary, Liya Mutale. To this aim, the conference addresses a number of issues related to digitalisation including integrating civil registration and vital statistics systems and legal identity management in the digital era; and civil registration and vital statistics digitalisation and innovation: a perspective from Eastern and Southern Africa.