Wednesday, May 24, 2023 –Government has, today Wednesday May 24, announced plans to introduce digital Identification Cards for every adult Kenyan.
President William Ruto, while opening the seventh ID4Africa Augmented General Meeting in Nairobi, said this is part of the government’s plan to digitise its civil registration and vital statistics system for easy service delivery and data analysis.
“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 Ruto.
His government also wants to launch 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,” Dr. Ruto said.
He seized the opportunity to urge digital players to contribute their input so that to improve efficiency in the digital 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.
“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,” President Ruto clarified.
Speaking in the same function, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki noted that the new ID Cards will have a machine-readable chip, QR code and allow web-based authentication.
“We are moving towards electronic ID, with QR code to lead to web-based ID authentication, transit to unique personal identifier to be given to newborn that becomes their ID at 18 years,” Interior CS Kithure Kindiki stated.
In March this year, government of Kenya Kwanza initiated the Unique Personal Identifier UPI to capture and register all newborn babies at birth and record deaths in the country.
According to Principal Secretary for Immigration and Citizen Services Julius Bittok, 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.