The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has joined the Secure Identity Alliance (SIA), as an Advisory Observer.
SIA is the global identity and secure digital services advisory body which promotes legal trusted identity for all.
The announcement was made on Monday at the 5th ID4Africa opening ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa though the Membership agreement had been executed in Paris France in April 2019.
According to a statement obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the organisation also named the Director General of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, as the chair of the Advisory Committee of the Open Standards Identity API (OSIA) initiative.
“The meeting is SIA’s ground-breaking global program that set the standards guarding against vendor lock-in for technologies and solutions used by government agencies worldwide in the implementation of their respective identity programs,” the statement highlighted.
Mr Aziz will play a critical role in overseeing the work carried out by the OSIA GitHub Community and OSIA Workgroup, as an OSIA Advisory Committee Chair.
While expressing his delight that the era of vendor lock-in is fast coming to an end, Mr Aziz said many agencies and governments across Africa remain unaware of the potential opportunities that OSIA unlocks–including a reduction in the total cost of ownership of their Identity systems.
“Part of my role will be to spread the word and ensure everyone knows they can access the interconnectivity resources they need to enable high functioning and interoperable Identity ecosystems,” he said.
According to the statement, the OSIA initiative provides the standardized data formats and open interfaces that allows for exchange and use of information which repeatedly hamper the evolution of national Identity systems.
It also said OSIA being supported by the world’s largest identity providers, would expectedly enable governments and it agencies like the NIMC to eliminate today’s identity silos and extend coverage to provide universal legal identity for all its citizens and residents.
“Injecting new levels of flexibility and openness, the Open Standards Identity API will enable seamless connectivity between all components of the identity management ecosystem – independent of technology, solution architecture or vendor – to assure the seamless interaction of services.
With these open standards in place, governments can plan and evolve their systems in complete confidence,” the organisation said.
In his remarks,the Chairman of the Board, Secure Identity Alliance, Frédéric Trojani, said that the program represents an industry-wide commitment to breaking down the technical barriers that, until now, have stood in the way of achieving the United Nations goal of establishing legal identity for every citizen by 2030.
According to him, OSIA initiative will help enable the sovereign identity systems that ensure citizens around the world benefit from universal coverage from birth to death, free of discrimination.
Mr Trojani who expressed his delight that Mr Aziz will help guide and shape the program said the work of the Advisory Committee of the OSIA (Open Standards Identity API) initiative will be critical, going forward, in helping to ensure governments around the world can implement the most appropriate solutions for their needs, without commercial or technical restrictions.
He also explained that the OSIA initiative represents a new era of openness and collaboration between the world’s largest identity providers to resolve the interoperability and data sharing challenges that previously left governments with limited options, should they need to evolve their ID ecosystems.
The Chair of the OSIA Workgroup, Debora Comparin said the industry’s open standards vision means governments are now free to use any technology they choose.
She also said the government can take advantage of innovative and emerging technologies as they see fit – confident that there will be no need to discard existing legacy Identity investments.
The organisation said it warmly welcomes governments, and stakeholders within the wider identity community, seeking to contribute to this industry-wide initiative.