Mr. Mohamed Mubashir MASSAQUOI, Director General of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) has gracefully occupied a seat of speakers in a Digital Public good conference in Kigali, Rwanda today 10th October 2022, where he seized the opportunity to share his expertise and experience with the world in a panel discussion on the topic “Data sovereignty and the impact of data collection and data sharing in Africa”, elaborating on Digital Public Goods, Data sovereignty, data locality, and data sharing in Africa.

The CyLab-Africa Summit on Digital Public Goods (DPGs) – this conference will explore how DPGs can be used to accelerate the digital transformation of Africa securely, privately, and equitably. It will bring together stakeholders from across Africa and beyond, including government regulatory authorities, national central banks, Government Foundational Identity institutions, telecommunications providers, healthcare providers, financial services companies, NGOs, and academia.

The summit is held at the CMU-Africa campus in Kigali, Rwanda from October 10-11, 2022.

DG MASSAQUOI; a speaker in this conference will be joined by other Global Experts in Identity, Security, Data Management and Interoperability for economic Development in the digital society/economy. Speakers at the summit will be expected to articulate critical, but salient pathways in efforts of promoting the aspirations of DPGs in different workable sectors in Africa.

It can be recalled that the West Africa version of the Conference was held in Sierra Leone on May 9-10, 2022. The conference explored the impact that digitization of public goods and personal identity had, and continues to have, on the economy and peoples of Africa. The event focused on several key domains that will be impacted by the transition to digital public goods (DPGs) as well as the cybersecurity and Identity needs that will result in, including *financial inclusion, healthcare, agriculture, good governance and service accessibility.*

In that conference, DG MASSAQUOI on behalf of NCRA did a symbolic signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a Digital Public Goods based Foundational Identity Management Platform MOSIP to pilot the Open Source Identity Management Platform in Sierra Leone which is progressing. It is of no doubt that the DG is a strong believer in the Power of Digital Technologies and Digital Public Goods for Digital Transformation of Africa and beyond.

Presenting his facts, DG MASSAQUOI informed the meeting that prior to introducing the MOSIP DPG platform, the Government of Sierra Leone through the NCRA was far ahead (at advanced stage) with the establishment of a secured data sharing and interoperability platform to improve Data Sharing and Identity Verification services with Government Institutions, the Private Sector, and Diplomatic and Consular Services. This, the DG said has just resonated with section 25 of the NCR Act 2016.

“Collaborating with the MOSIP team to pilot the MOSIP Open Source (DPG) Platform in Sierra Leone is timely as it will help us understand the MOSIP Platform, its modules, features, and determine use case for Sierra Leone.” DG MASSAQUOI noted.

In the recent past, NCRA has made tremendous effects achievements through the astute leadership of the Director General to improve Civil Registration, Vital Statistics and Identify Management services, positioning the NCRA as the Identity Data Hub on the population of the country (covering both Citizens and non-citizens resident in Sierra Leone). Since 2017, the Authority has been a service-oriented institution with an assumed role of national repository of data for citizens and other nationals resident in the country. This has evidently shown in the effective and result-based implementation of Data Sharing and Interoperability projects with other key institutions in the country including the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone for Election purposes, National Revenue Authority for Tax collection and administration, Road Safety Authority for Vehicle Registration and Issuance of Drivers Licenses, Government Payroll Administration, Social Security, Sim Card Registration, Bank of Sierra Leone for eKYC to boost Financial Inclusion and many others while adhering to data protection, privacy, and sovereignty.

These effects have not just made services accessible and improved, they have also helped actualize cost-savings for government, thereby contributing to economic growth of the country, and positioned Sierra Leone well in the International Identity, Civil Registration and Digital Transformation Space.

In company with the NCRA Director General on the Sierra Leone delegation to Rwanda includes the Deputy Bank Governor for Financial Inclusion, Minister of Health and Sanitation for digital healthcare service delivery, UNICEF and other private Sector players.

The Director General is expected to return to Freetown on Wednesday 12th October 2022, after showcasing the readiness of the Government of Sierra Leone through NCRA in promoting the initiative of Data sharing in a secured fashion using interoperability platforms to improve identity verification services to public and private institutions including other development interested groups.

©️ IEC-Directorate