Seychelles partners with WISeKey to launch national digital ID platform
Seychelles has taken another important step into the digital era with the launching of the National Digital Identification platform on Monday.
Called ‘SeyID’, the platform is based on WISeKey’s WiseID, which is said to guarantee a high level of digital identity and online security. Sey-ID is already available to download on the Google Play Store, where people can download the app and start testing the digital ID.
Headquartered in Switzerland, WISeKey markets itself as “a leading global cybersecurity company deploying large scale digital identity ecosystems for people and objects using Blockchain, AI [artificial intelligence] and the Internet of Things (IoT), respecting the Human as the Fulcrum of the Internet.” The company is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York and the SIX Swiss Exchange in Zurich.
Digital identification is an extension of current forms of ID cards that claims to offer more privacy and control over how personal information is shared. Proponents claim that it alleviates some of the risks associated with physical documents such as driver’s licenses, passports or bank cards.
At the launching ceremony at Eden Bleu Hotel attended by the President of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, the Vice-President, Ahmed Afif, spoke of the inconveniences of having to carry around a physical ID card, which is also limiting when it comes to online activities.
Afif said a digital ID will also allow you to digitally sign documents, another growing requirement while transacting digitally. (State House) Photo License: CC-BY
“Having a digital ID through the SeyID platform will not only be a means of proving your identity digitally or access digital public or private services. It will also allow you to digitally sign documents, another growing requirement while transacting digitally. Through this platform, digital signing will be far much easier to do compared to what is the case presently,” said Affif.
He added that “in order for us to realise the full potential of the SeyID platform, there needs to be as many applications as possible, especially those in use locally, that interface to it.”
Afif said that the follow-up activity of the launching ceremony will be a workshop where local ICT experts and interested parties can interact with the SeyID technical experts, not only to get more detailed information about how to interface with the platform but also to explore new possibilities for cooperation.
According to the Department of Information Communications Technology, the SeyID platform will not just give Seychellois the tools to prove their identity online, but it will also assist the accessing of numerous public and private services that choose to integrate with the SeyID platform through the application programming interfaces (APIs) that will be made available to allow for the interfacing between systems.
The launching of this new platform is part of the Seychelles’ movement towards a digital economy announced by the finance minister, Naadir Hassan, in his budget address in February 2021.
Speaking at the launching, Hassan said “as the Minister for Finance, National Planning and Trade, I am very keen and ambitious about Seychelles’ digital future. There will be much gain for the country but we need to be well positioned nationally in order to reap maximum benefit from the opportunities offered by ICT developments globally.”
He added that “today is a historic event for Seychelles. For the first time, all Seychellois citizens can prove their identity online through the Seychelles Identity (SeyID) platform. The SeyID platform has been a project undertaken by the Department of Information Communications Technology (DICT), the entity leading the Digital Infrastructure and Digital Platforms dimensions of the Digital Economy strategy.”
The launching ceremony was followed by a half-day software development workshop on the use of the Sey-ID testing environment.