Guinea to Adopt Its First National Digital Identity Card - Identity Review - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank

Developed within the global identity initiative known as the Secure Identity Alliance (SIA), Open Standards Identity APIs (OSIA) is an initiative that aims to develop interoperable identity frameworks among various countries and sectors.

On June 6, SIA announced its collaboration with Guinea’s National Agency for Economic and Social Inclusion (ANIES) to develop a national digital identity management system with OSIA-standards. The move is reportedly driven by its support of vulnerable groups in the country.

ANIES’s Greater Impetus

Guinea is among Africa’s most unequal. Poverty reduction efforts are even distributed unequally—between North and South, and men and women. Digitally, about 40% of the current Ghanian population are undocumented, lack a valid form of ID and are thereby ousted from government support.

“The OSIA initiative represents a new era of openness and collaboration between industry and governments across the world,” says Philippe Barreau, chairman of SIA’s board. A Ghanian government official was present at OSIA’s inaugural meeting in November 2019, where African government representatives met with private sector leaders to discuss ideas for OSIA’s collaborative identity scheme.

Bridging the identity gap between governments and private sector organizations in real time will allow OSIA to carry out its fundamental purpose: “to resolve the interoperability and data sharing challenges,” according to Barreau.

Terms of Rollout

ANIES plans to work closely with Ghanian population census data to construct a biometric registration program. Each citizens’ unique biometrics will serve as the basis for the OSIA digital ID, which Guinean officials hope to fully distribute among the population by the end of 2021.

Post-enrollment, the program will lend its users a legal identity via a “beneficiary card.” The digital card will then provide access to a range of government and financial services, alongside social and voting rights.

Guinea’s card reflects a growing trend in the African digital identity schema, following Egypt’s vein biometrics system and Kenya’s Huduma Namba.

For free, the OSIA functional and technical specifications are available on the following GitHub page:


Olivia Baker is a tech editor and journalist at Identity Review, where she writes on tech policy and national digital identity technologies.

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