International forum in Dar on electronic IDs

The three-day international conference on electronic identity cards in Dar es Salaam (2-4 June) focused on the theme of how national IDs can affect social and economic development in Africa. The conference (ID4Africa) was the first of its kind on the continent.

It comes at a time when Tanzania is struggling to issue electronic identity cards for the presidential and general elections in October 2015. Since the beginning of 2013, when the president Jakaya Kikwete was presented with the first electronic ID card, 2.5 million Tanzanians have been issued with them out of the 6 million who have now been registered to vote in the regions of Zanzibar, Dar, Tanga, Linda, Mtwara, Morogoro.

According to UNICEF figures the total population of Tanzania in 2012 was about 47.7 million with nearly 50 per cent under the voting age of 18.

In April this year the Tanzanian government decided to postpone a referendum on the constitution because of organisational and economic difficulties with voter registration.

The conference ID4Africa was organised by Tanzania's Home Affairs ministry and the Asia Pacific Smart Card Association and the Identity Council International.