Kenya signs digital ID support deal with UNDP, introduces a new Namba
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Kenya and the United Nation’s Development Programme to support the country’s digital identity program, which has a new name, reports Capital News.
The Unique Personal Identifier (UPI) which has been presented by the Kenyan government elected last year as a replacement for the scuttled Huduma Namba will be known as “Maisha Namba.”
“Maisha” in Swahili translates to “life” in English, while the “huduma” in Huduma Namba translates to “services.”
Maisha Namba and an accompanying digital ID are now scheduled to be presented on October 2.
An immigration department official told Kenyans.co.ke that “Maisha Namba will be a number that will replace the current birth entry number which is currently issued with birth certificates. Maisha Namba will be the reference number for future identity for all subsequent stages: school, national ID, KRA pin.”
A “Maisha Card” will be issued under the new system, and a National Master Population Register established to consolidate government databases. This was a key takeaway identified by Principal Secretary of Immigration and Citizen Services Julius Bitok from a visit to NADRA in Pakistan.
“The digital identity system will provide Kenyans with a secure and reliable way to verify their identity for a variety of purposes, including accessing gov’t services, opening bank accounts, and traveling,” says Bitok in a tweet. “It will also help to reduce fraud and corruption, and improve efficiency.”
Bitok says the digital ID will enable Kenyans to carry out online transactions with service providers from around the world. The Maisha Namba will also be used by the National Health Insurance Fund and Kenya Revenue Authority, according to Pulselive Kenya.
UNDP Resident Representative Anthony Ngororano praised Kenya’s government for engaging with non-governmental organizations, and said UNDP intends to ensure “a whole of society approach” to implementing the national digital ID.