Kenya seeks to introduce digital identification cards with the data of every citizen, President William Ruto said Wednesday.
While opening the seventh ID4Africa Augmented General Meeting in Nairobi, Ruto said this is part of the government’s plan to digitise its civil registration and vital statistics system.
“The government is deliberating the implementation of a civil registration and vital statistics system that meets the imperatives of a new digital era. The new system must be able to assign unique personal identification numbers at birth to all persons born in Kenya,” said the president.
According to the head of state, the government also wants a passenger information solution to monitor movement in and out of the country.
“… upgrade the current national identity card into a national digital identity management system and adopt the most sophisticated advanced passenger information solution to address entry and exit at our borders and ports,” Ruto said.
The president invited input from identity management practitioners across the continent towards possible innovations to achieve integrity and efficiency in the sector.
“Data privacy for registered persons is an essential component of our public mandate, and we must take every possible measure to safeguard it at all times,” Ruto added.
“We cannot postpone or downgrade our identity management endeavours. Our development partners, therefore, have an opportunity to explore possible areas of collaboration with our State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services to support our identity management programmes.”
The government in March launched the Unique Personal Identifier (UPI) to capture and register all newborn babies at birth and record deaths in the country.
Principal Secretary for Immigration and Citizen Services Julius Bittok in February said the UPI will be uploaded in the eCitizen portal and will give all the newborns a unique number to be used in schools and colleges.
It would also be used as an identification card, PIN number, National Health Insurance Fund, and Kenya Revenue Authority, the PS said, adding that the government will do away with the census exercise as the government will have real-time data on the country’s population.
So far, primary school pupils have already started being issued with their UPIs across schools countrywide.