The ID4Africa, National Identity Management Commission ( NIMC ) and other international organisations have decided to Petition the United Nations ( UN ) to declare September 16 of every year as International Identity Day celebration.
Dr Joseph Atick, the Executive Chairman, ID4Africa Movement, made the disclosure on Monday at a news briefing to commence the 4th annual meeting of the organisation in Abuja.
The ID4Africa is a multi-stakeholder movement that promotes the transparent and responsible adoption of digital identity in the service of development in Africa.
The 2018 ID4Africa Conference is scheduled from April 24 to April 26 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Atick, who said that the petition would be launched on April 24 at the opening session of the conference, added that the campaign would be taken to New York until the success would be achieved.
According to him, the petition is calling on the United Nations to recognise September 16 of every year as International Identity Day.
“I want to make an announcement that it is going to be launched; another first African announcement which we will start here in Africa on April 24.
“We will continue all the way to New York until we reach a successful end. The announcement is that we will be launching a petition tomorrow; a petition to the United Nations.
“This petition is supported by the General Secretariat of the ID4Africa, the board of advisers of ID4Africa which has membership or representatives of the World Bank, UNDP, Centre for Growth and Development and of course NIMC, among others.
“Together, we are launching a petition and the petition is that we are calling on the United Nations to recognise September 16 as International Identity Day,” he said.
Explaining why September 16 should be declared as the day, Atick said the organisation adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals and that number 16.9 of the SDGs pushed for legal identity for all by 2030.
“We have worked for many years together to establish what I called the Sustainable Development Goals. So government has responsibility by the year 2030 to give everybody in the country legal identity.
“We want a day because identity is one of the most important aspects of human experience in a modern society.
“We want to celebrate it, we want to create awareness for it, we also want to measure our progress towards the ultimate goal.
“Once we get the United Nations declaring that as international day, different countries diversify it and observe it with different activities. So April 24, it is going to start in Abuja,” he said.
Atick, who expressed optimism that 193 nations of the UN would vote in its support, said about 47 African nations would be attending the conference.
The Director-General of NIMC, Mr Aliyu Aziz, however, said this year’s conference is tagged: “Harmonisation,” adding that it aimed at addressing issues of duplication of data by different agencies of government.
He said the conference would be dealing on how to develop artificial intelligence, how to utilise it and how to get market intelligence in improving, especially agriculture.
The Chairman Board of Director of NIMC, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, said the news briefing was to acquaint everyone with the conduct of the conference on ID4Africa.
He described the organisation as a movement of countries within the continent that have come to the understanding of leveraging ID ecosystem on digital system.