President William Ruto has promised that by December, when the Maisha Number, a digital ID platform, goes live, Kenyans can transact using their fingerprints and iris.
To ensure a smooth launch, the president has pledged that the digital ID will be in use by December and that the testing phase will finish by the end of November.
Owing to unforeseen circumstances, the government said in September that the scheduled launch would be postponed and that a new date would be announced.
“I have been assured by all the stakeholders led by the Ministries concerned that by December we will be able to launch the digital IDs where every Kenyan doesn’t have to carry any paper, plastic, or otherwise as an ID,” he stated.
President Ruto declared that the implementation schedule was on track, emphasizing that adopting the digital national identity concept is a significant step.
“Kenyans will be able to be identified digitally using their iris or fingerprints, and we can transact without the necessity of people struggling to identify who they are,” said the president.
The digital identity, which is expected to replace the present national IDs progressively, would include every type of personal, detailed identifier, such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, death certificate, and Maisha card.
All government services, including death registration, will use the unique number given to newborns as their identifying number. This number will also be used for the child’s birth certificate.
A machine-readable zone, according to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regulations, will be included with the Maisha number.
By employing fingerprint biometric technology, this master database will handle information for all registered citizens, refugees, and foreign nationals, improving data accuracy and dependability.
It will combine current separate databases into an integrated register, which will function as the primary source of information for all information about foreign and Kenyan nationals living in the nation.
The digital ID, conversely, is a digital representation of a person, group, or item that usually includes credentials, authentication, and personal characteristics.
The Maisha Card differs from its predecessor, the Huduma Card, which represented an effort to digitize identity during the administration of former President Uhuru Kenyatta in this regard.
Two to three years will be needed for the project’s complete implementation, according to estimates.