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October 10, 2019

MARK THE DATE: Open Forum - Key Voices on Digital Identity and Data Privacy in Africa at Wits, 28 October 2019

The Africa-China Reporting Project and Omidyar Network invite you to:

Open Forum: Key Voices on Digital Identity and Data Privacy in Africa

Monday 28 October 2019, 09:00 – 12:30
Senate Room, Solomon Mahlangu House, Second floor
University of the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein East Campus
To attend please RSVP to Bongiwe Tutu at

As African governments and businesses digitize their identification processes, having a digital identity can be increasingly valuable, if not required, for people to obtain healthcare, education, employment, bank services, purchases and trade; and to pay taxes, amass capital, own property, lend money, open businesses, and travel.

While digital identity has massive implications for economies and societies, very few people understand how they themselves are digitally identified; how their information is used by businesses, governments, and individuals; what rights they have; what risks they are exposed to; and what safeguards are or could be in place.

An estimated 500 million African citizens still have no formal online identification, although African states are now pursuing new and distinctive digital identification projects, many with an economic development agenda and others with national security goals. The private sector is also an active participant in digital identity.

The Africa-China Reporting Project is convening a group of key voices on digital identity in Africa in the fields of public and private IDs, the banking sector, datafication and surveillance, including:

  • Kim Dancey, Head Payments Risk, FirstRand Rest of Africa and India
  • John Carneson, Former head of policy, strategy, planning and evaluation at South African Home Affairs
  • Thea Anderson, Policy Director, Omidyar Network
  • Professor Jane Duncan, Department of Journalism, Film and Television, University of Johannesburg
  • Professor Keith Breckenridge, Wits Institute For Social & Economic Research
  • Liesl Muller, Attorney, Statelessness Unit, Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme, Lawyers for Human Rights
  • Grace Mutung’u, Associate, Kenya ICT Action Network

To attend please RSVP to Bongiwe Tutu at A light lunch will be served.

Below is a full programme for the event as well as details on the venue and directions (or download full document as PDF):

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