Identity and Power

Identity and Power

How do you prove that you are who you say you are? As our world becomes increasingly digitized, automated, and algorithmically operated, digital identity schemes are becoming an important form of personal identification. But without good governance frameworks in place, digital identity schemes may threaten the privacy, security, and human rights of individuals and communities. Join us for a conversation with Yussuf Bashir, Executive Director of Haki Na Sheria, and Nanjala Nyabola, a Nairobi-based independent writer and researcher, discussing the risks and opportunities of digital identity.

Meet the Guest: Yussuf Bashir

Presented by Elizabeth Renieris

Yussuf Bashir
Executive Director, Haki na Sheria

Photograph of Yussuf BashirYussuf Bashir is the executive director of Haki na Sheria Initiative, an NGO based in Garissa, Kenya. He is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and has previously worked with various local and international NGOs.
Bashir has a master’s degree in law from Queen Mary University of London and is a recipient of the prestigious Chevening Scholarship. At Haki na Sheria, he is responsible for the overall leadership of the organization and the public interest litigation cases.
Bashir was the lead counsel on the case on the digitizing of Kenya’s ID register known as “Huduma Namba”. He is also currently on record for double registration victims whose biometric data in the UNHCR refugee database have effectively rendered them stateless.

Meet the Guest: Nanjala Nyabola

Presented by Elizabeth Renieris

Nanjala Nyabola
Independent writer and researcher

Nanjala Nyabola is a writer and researcher based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her work focuses on the intersection Photograph of Nanjala Nyabolabetween technology, media, and society. She holds a BA in African Studies and Political Science from the University of Birmingham, an MSc in African Studies and an MSc in Forced Migration, both from the University of Oxford, as well as a JD from Harvard Law School. She has held numerous research associate positions including with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), and other institutions, while also working as a research lead for several projects on human rights broadly and digital rights specifically around the world. She is a fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the Digital Forensic Lab at the Atlantic Council, The Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology (CIPIT) at Strathmore University, and the Centre for International Cooperation (CIC) at NYU. She has published in several academic journals including the African Security Review and the Women’s Studies Quarterly, and has contributed to numerous edited collections. Nyabola also writes commentary for publications like The Nation, Al Jazeera, The Boston Review, and others. She is the author of Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era Is Transforming Politics in Kenya (Zed Books, 2018) and Travelling While Black: Essays Inspired by a Life on the Move (Hurst Books, 2020).

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Presented by Kirsten Martin and Elizabeth Renieris

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Featured Speakers: 

  • Yussuf Bashir, Executive Director, Haki na Sheria
  • Nanjala Nyabola, Independent Writer and Researcher, Nairobi, Kenya

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