Strong Identity for Strong eGovernance - Part 2

E-governance needs a strong digital identity to build trust. The second part of this conference is about use cases across the world and the opportunities given by the implication of civil society.


E-governance needs a strong digital identity to build trust. The second part of this conference is about use cases across the world and the opportunities given by the implication of civil society.


The uses cases presented during this presentation are about Nigeria and a project of opening a bank across borders in Europe.


The complexity of the Nigerian society is deep, because there are many languages and ethnicities. In Nigeria, there is what they call economic recovery and growth plan. Digital economy must be driven by skilled forces, digital payments on Internet. The platform is the unique identity that needs to drive this economic growth.

E-governance has been around since the 1990’s. Nigeria uses information and communication technology to enhance access of common services to the benefits of the citizen. It has to be citizen centred, resort oriented and marketed responsiveness.

Because of recession and other problems, they have been unable to reach a large acceptance of the cards by the citizen. So far, they have just printed 1.5 million cards only so they are still in the pilot mood for the population. They focused on a national e-ID 2.0, around a live-long idea for every individual physically present in Nigeria. This idea is defined by some key characteristics:

  • It has to be digital, using national identification number
  • Unique, using biometrics
  • Minimalist, with only 10 data fields
  • Foundational, verified across all the agencies and several registrations
  • Trust worthy, built with legal, technical security to insure data protection and privacy
  • Rolled out using the eco-system approach

It’s a new model, a performance-driven system which came up with a lot of regulation. Between the diverse options they had in mind, they choose an ecosystem approach whereby they issue only the digital ID of the next three years.

The potentials are numerous in every sector (financial inclusion, women empowerment, social safeness, education, voting). There is a strong relationship between identification and e-governance, and this is central if we are realizing an effective delivery of important government services to the people.

For Nigeria, to achieve a strong digital identity for strong e-governance, they need to teach their children to well use technology, upgrade infrastructure and build the trust for dependability, accessibility, transparency and integrity.

Beyond that, there must be convenience to connect all this functional identity with the national identification number and finally, the value for the people who develop countries is to provide basic services for reasonable standards of living.

Speaker: Aliyu AHUBAKAR AZIZ, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) & David RENNIE, Idemia

OIX/CEF: Opening a Bank Account Across Borders with an EU National Digital Identity

The concept for eIDs is to remove the friction, digital identity creating trust across borders. The opening of a bank account is a good example of the challenge of crating trust. The goal of this project was to get the data in a trust worthy manner. There were a few considerations for that:

  • The commercial model is critical with the GDPR. Anyone has the right to access his data and take it from an organisation to another
  • The user experiences
  • Challenges of implementation and governance

If we have for example personal data residing in a bank located in France, and we want to open a bank account in the UK, how can that data be put across to another bank and linked to a digital identity to establish trust? To do that, they used a protocol, based on open ID connect, a sequence and a logical of the different accesses required in order to obtain the permission from the user.

The digital identity is the part that all parties in the transaction recognize. Most of the challenges are not in the technology space but in the governate space and getting agreements between organizations to use the same language and create some standards for the type of data that would be moved across.


Access now is an international organization working to protect the users and their rights in the digital area. There is perspective of the individuals in the development and the use of digital ID programs. Those programs need to put human at the centre, be based around rights so that the society participation can help delivering those goals.

Digital ID programs impact on people rights, that is why they need to be in centre. There is still a gap to be bridged to this recognition which is growing. This is where civil society can help, because there’s a need for upscaling society engagement and coordination. It can help the development of standards and existing standards of security, within 5 large areas: governance, cybersecurity, data protection, transparency and human rights protection.

Speaker: Estelle MASSE, Access Now