By Amin Kef (Ranger)
In a momentous event at the Orange Money Headquarters, Mohamed Mubashir Massaquoi, the Director General of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA), delivered a concise and impactful address on January 18, 2024, during the launch of the Sierra Leone Insurance Commission’s eKYC Platform. This platform incorporates an Integrated National Identification Verification Number, marking a transformative digital leap for the nation.
Amidst a gathering of esteemed industry leaders and digital visionaries, the Director General highlighted the significance of the occasion as Sierra Leone stands on the brink of a technological renaissance. The collaboration between the Association of Insurance Companies, telecom giants, and the NCRA has given birth to a groundbreaking system redefining the intersection of technology and insurance.
Director General Massaquoi emphasized that the new system is not only about efficiency but seamlessly integrating financial transactions and identity management into the daily lives of the people. He noted that the National Identification Number (NIN) emerges as a decisive answer to the challenges of fragmented identity systems, paving the way for a unified and secure future.
With approximately 90% of the population now possessing a digital identity, Massaquoi envisioned a future where verified identities streamline instant services, marking a key aspiration of President Julius Maada Bio’s government. The NIN, according to him, goes beyond being a sequence of characters; it symbolizes freedom and opens doors to previously unreachable possibilities, driving the nation towards prosperity.
Massaquoi stressed that the integration of the NIN with insurance is a significant step, not only for the insurance and telecom sectors but for the nation’s well-being. The mandatory use of NIN in various services, including financial transactions, insurance, forex, and registration, reflects a legislative commitment made in March 2022.
The Director General outlined the transformative impact of the NIN on insurance, bringing peace of mind to individuals, farmers, market traders, and entrepreneurs. He asserted that linking insurance to the NIN empowers people to take control of their lives, build resilience, and navigate the challenges of life with confidence.
In his address, Massaquoi also highlighted the collaboration between NCRA and the Sierra Leone Insurance Commission (SLICOM), envisioning a digital insurance landscape that benefits both insurers and policyholders. He assured that the platform is highly secure, adhering to international best practices in data protection and privacy.
As the event marked a significant milestone, Director General Massaquoi acknowledged the collective efforts of stakeholders, including insurance companies and telecom operators. He called on all stakeholders, from the Governmental landscape to the private sector, to embrace the capabilities of the NIN and usher in a digital era that ensures the right to identity for every resident.
Massaquoi extended his gratitude to President Julius Maada Bio, whose unwavering support for legal identity has been a critical pillar in the institution’s pursuits. He concluded by encouraging every resident to obtain their ID cards, emphasizing the end of an era of multiple IDs with inconsistent information.
The convergence of the NIN and insurance services, according to Massaquoi, marks a leap towards a future where digital solutions drive prosperity and inclusiveness in Sierra Leone, setting an example for the African continent.
The event concluded with salient contributions from other stakeholders present during the launch.