ID4Africa has announced the appointment of Ambassadors from 43 African nations for its 2019 Ambassador Class. This impressive expansion in representation – up from 29 countries in 2018 – reflects a strong endorsement from the African Governments of the ID4Africa Ambassadors Program, and a clear recognition of the importance of the evolving role the Ambassadors play.

Of note is the degree of geographic inclusivity attained by the program this year, which now stretches beyond sub-Saharan Africa, to include Northern Africa as well as the sovereign islands off the African coast.

Commenting on this achievement, Dr. Joseph J. Atick, Executive Chairman of ID4Africa, said: “I am excited to see the Program become the largest institutionalized body for south-south cooperation around identity matters in Africa. While the growth in the ranks of the Ambassadors is remarkable, what is even more significant is the way in which their role has evolved. While they continue to act as key liaisons between the ID4Africa Movement and their individual countries, we are empowering the group to become a collective thought leadership body that can provide Pan-African guidance and promote the exchange of experiences and knowledge among the represented countries themselves.”

In order to support the Ambassadors’ expanded role and to enable collective action, ID4Africa is launching the first annual Ambassadors’ Summit at its 5th Annual Meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Summit will be held one day ahead of the Annual Meeting on June 17, 2019 and is exclusively open to the Ambassadors and members of the ID4Africa Advisory Board. In this regard, Dr. Atick commented: “The kick-off meeting in June will serve to define the roles and responsibilities of this collective group, which we call the ID4Africa Identity Council, and will identify the priorities for Pan-African dialogue and the needed working groups.”

The ID4Africa Ambassadors are senior-level government officials (appointed one per country) that work for government identity stakeholders in their country. Selected based on merit, passion, and experience, the Ambassadors are key drivers within the Movement who not only serve to establish and maintain active collaboration between the ID4Africa General Secretariat and the identity stakeholders, but also influence the agenda and direction of the Movement. They help keep the Movement informed on issues that are pertinent and ensure that their respective countries’ priorities in identity management are part of the Movement’s collective agenda. They also ensure that their nations are well represented in their delegations to the annual meetings.  In their collective action and through the ID4Africa Identity Council, this role is expanding to include guidance and support of the decision-making process for the development of Pan-African identity ecosystems.

“We are excited to work with such an enthusiastic group of experts who are dedicated to ensuring that everyone in Africa is able to exercise their right to legal identity within the context of the internationally recognized frameworks of human rights.” Said Dr. Atick.

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