Sierra Leone Prioritizes Digital ID for National Transformation

By Amin Kef Sesay

In a bid to accelerate its digital transformation, Sierra Leone has placed    its digital identity (ID) system at the forefront of its agenda. According to an official from the country’s ID Authority, the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA), the move is pivotal to the nation’s progress.

Speaking to Biometric Update at the MOSIP Connect event held in Addis Ababa last month, Moses T.F. Vibbie, Deputy Director of ICT at NCRA, highlighted the significance of Sierra Leone’s commitment to digital innovation. He credited the strong political will of President Julius Maada Bio and the dedication of NCRA’s Director General, Mohamed Mubashir Massaquoi, as key drivers behind the initiative.

Moses Vibbie emphasized the central role of the Foundational Digital ID managed by NCRA in Sierra Leone’s digital transformation strategy. He explained that the National ID Card or NIN (National Identification Number) is now mandatory for accessing a wide array of Government and private sector services, as mandated by the National Civil Registration Act of 2016.

Sierra Leone embarked on the journey to modernize its ID system in 2016/2017, later partnering with MOSIP to establish an open-source ID system tailored to the country’s needs. According to Moses Vibbie several reasons are responsible for opting for the MOSIP-based digital ID, including its open-source nature, absence of vendor lock-in and flexibility for customization.

Enrollment for the Digital ID is well underway, with over 90 percent of the population already registered. To further promote adoption, NCRA set a deadline for citizens and legal residents to acquire the new Digital ID card, initially set for March 31, 2024, later extended to June 28, 2024, to allow more time for compliance.

The NCRA Director General, Mohamed Massaquoi’s leadership, coupled with support from international partners such as ID4Africa, has been instrumental in driving the project forward. Moses Vibbie highlighted ongoing efforts in legal and institutional reforms, public awareness campaigns, and collaboration with stakeholders to advance civil registration and identity services.

Reflecting on their participation at MOSIP Connect 2024, he expressed gratitude for the learning opportunities the event provided further noting the valuable insights gained from sharing experiences with other countries and engaging with stakeholders from Government, the private sector and NGOs.

Sierra Leone’s comprehensive civil registration and identity system aligns with continental resolutions and international recommendations on civil registration and vital statistics systems.

As Sierra Leone continues to forge ahead with its digital transformation journey, collaboration and partnerships remain vital for ensuring the success and sustainability of its digital ID initiatives.

Designated Centers for Acquiring the Digital ID Cards are:

1. NCRA Headquarters: 2 Walpole Street, Freetown.
2. NCRA Office: 23B Off Kingharman Road, Freetown.
3. NCRA Office: Kennedy Street, Freetown.
4. NCRA Branch Office: 230 Lumley Road, Freetown (By the Roundabout).
5. NCRA Office: Waterloo along the Freetown Highway (Opposite the Police Station).
6. NCRA Offices: Regional Headquarter Towns of Bo, Kenema, Makeni, and Port Loko.

For detailed inquiries regarding these services, interested parties can contact the NCRA via the following phone numbers: +232-33-433-333, +232-30-500-000, +232-60-000, +232-78-221-812, or through email at


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