On Friday, March 11, 2022, the National Identification (ID) Program hosted its first “Digital Identification Proclamation Consultation” with invited officials and guests at the Ethiopian Skylight Hotel. Over 200 key stakeholders representing Federal ministries and government agencies, regional governments, civil society organizations (CSO), local human rights organizations, and international institutions were in attendance.

The objective of this consultation meeting was to provide a platform for stakeholders to learn about the National ID Program as it is being developed and provide their feedback. The consultation detailed the necessary legislative provisions and policy interventions required to enable a trusted, secure, and robust digital identity ecosystem in Ethiopia. It solicited input from stakeholders for how to best achieve this. This feedback will be used as input to further develop the legislation and overall program. 

“For digital identity systems to be effective a legal and policy framework must be built on the basis of informed choice, consent, and inclusiveness that guarantee data privacy and protection.” said Yodahe Zemichael, Executive Director at National ID Program of Ethiopia, during his opening remark. The opening also included speeches from invited dignitaries H.E. Huriya Ali, State Minister of Innovation & Technology, and Jean-Paul Adam, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Technology Director of Climate Change and Natural Resources Management. The program then focused on carefully reviewing the draft “Digital Identification Proclamation” which was presented by the National ID Program Legal Advisor Mr. Dilnessa Israel. 

Key topics covered in the presentation included: enrollment, privacy, data ownership, inclusion, and digital authentication. These topics were discussed thoroughly in relation to policies, legislation, and regulations as required to define and enact a Digital ID System. This presentation was followed by an extensive Q&A session with active participation representing views from various institutions, sectors, and communities. 

“As stakeholders, we have been and will continue to be active in helping create and foster a robust environment for the development of the Digital Identity System,” said H.E. Huriya Ali, State Minister of Innovation & Technology emphasizing the importance of the gathering. As a next step, the National ID Program will build on the lessons learned from this initial consultation. It will also conduct similar regional and additional national consultations to further develop the legal proclamation ensuring there is strong stakeholder buy-in on which the National ID Program will be anchored.

Please follow this link to view the list of participating institutions.

For more information on the National ID Program please visit https://id.gov.et/pressrelease/ or contact, Mrs Ruth Michail at ruth@id.gov.et