November 1, 2023

Kenya Plans To Introduce Digital Identification System Next Month

Kenya's Digital ID

Kenya’s Digital ID

The Kenyan government plans to introduce its digital identification system in December 2023 after a series of several-month testing periods.

As part of this system, digital IDs will be introduced in the country alongside Maisha Namba, which is a lifelong personal identification number assigned to Kenyan citizens at the time of registration. This combined ID system will help the African country to digitize its registries and provide its citizens with faster access to state, educational, and medical resources.

In this regard, President of Kenya William Ruto said: “The digital ID, which has been a major problem to us for a very long time, is now in testing mode for the next two months. I have been assured by all the stakeholders and the ministries concerned that by December, we will be able to launch digital IDs.”

The Kenyan Principal Secretary of Immigration and Citizen Services, Julius Bitok, explained in August that Kenya’s upcoming digital identity system will offer citizens a secure and reliable way to verify their identity for various purposes, such as accessing government services, opening bank accounts, and traveling. Bitok also stated that the system will aid in reducing fraud and corruption while enhancing efficiency.

In September, Bitok encouraged private businesses to adopt the digital ID system as it will enable innovative solutions like mobile banking and agent networks, thereby transforming e-commerce processes. He promised that the government would ensure the design of the digital ID facilitates commerce and simplifies business transactions.

The Central Bank of Kenya expressed skepticism in June 2023 regarding the urgency of introducing a central bank digital currency in the near to medium term. Instead, the bank pointed out the existence of other innovative solutions within the current payment ecosystem that may address Kenya’s pain points in payments.

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