New ID to be unveiled next week
Beginning October 2, every newborn child in Kenya will be assigned a unique identity number, marking the beginning of a major shift in the registration of persons.
To be known as Maisha Namba, the Unique Personal Identifier (UPI) will be assigned to every citizen upon registration, typically at birth.
The number will be a lifelong personal identity number. It is the birth certificate number that can also be generated digitally by those authorised to issue birth certificates.
The relevant officials will undergo training to enable them to apply the digital registration technologies effectively.
At the same time, Kenyan citizens who will be attaining the age of 18 years will be among the first beneficiaries of the Third Generation electronic identity card, to be known as Maisha Card.
These citizens together with holders of the Second Generation identity cards will also be provided with an option of acquiring a digital identity card, to complement the electronic version.
State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services Principal Secretary Julius Bitok says this is in response to the changing registration ecosystem that is about 30 years old and requires an upgrade that conforms to global requirements and also aligned to the fast-growing digital economy.
Bitok says the government is leveraging on technology to enable citizens to acquire technologically advanced, safe and secure identification documents.
“This will transform how Kenyans are securely registered, identified, and authenticated and how they do business, through digital registration technologies. We are therefore in the process of transitioning from a fairly manual processing of registration documents to a digital identity system,” says Bitok.
This means members of the public will now have an opportunity to onboard using an application which has been developed and can access various government services on E-Citizen platform, travel and transact business.