Kenya to launch digital IDs, similar to Huduma Namba cards

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 24 May, 2023 11:40 | < 1 min read
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki. PHOTO/Courtesy

Kenya is set to launch new generation digital identification cards similar to Huduma Namba cards, the Cabinet Secretary of Interior and Administration of National Government Kithure Kindiki has said.

Kindiki said that the new ID cards will have a machine-readable chip and QR code and allow web-based authentication.

"We had an ID system in Kenya which is semi-automated. Going forward we are looking at upgrading our current automated fingerprint identification system into an automated biometric identification system which goes beyond the fingerprint and involves the iris and facial recognition," Kindiki said.

"We are moving towards an electronic ID with a machine-readable QR code, and eventually this should lead us to a digital ID system which will allow web-based ID authentication. In the long run, this will transit into a unique personal identifier which becomes their ID."

The new document proposed by Kindiki is almost similar to the Huduma Namba card launched by the previous regime, which was vouched to serve as the official government-issued document for identification and conduct of transactions. 

Huduma Namba use

Under the flopped National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), Huduma Namba would have been the primary database from which every personal information of residents in the country, such as that of voter information, taxes, and social services, would have been built.

Under Huduma Namba, one would have been required to provide the number in case they want to transfer, or make any dealings in land, pay taxes, transact in the financial markets, open a bank account, access universal health care services, benefit from the government housing scheme, enrol into a public educational facility as well as access social protection services.