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Kenya's digital ID system to pilot in February

Kenya's digital ID system to pilot in February

Kenya has announced it will pilot the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) programme in 15 counties beginning 15 February 2019.

NIIMS was established to integrate various government data silos, streamline the registration of citizens and store all data centrally and digitally.

Officials expect that full registration will be opened in March following assessment of the pilot phase.

Dr. Karanja Kibicho, Principal Secretary, State Department of Interior, said, "As a Kenyan you will only have two documents: one as a single source of truth and the other one is your passport."

According to Dr Kibicho data will be pulled from various sources including national medical cover, driver's license details and national ID cards.

Information collected will replace databases used by different departments and provide citizens with a way to secure services without having to provide redundant data.

"Non-citizens will require information of country of origin, passport information and the status of their presence in the country," Dr Kibicho added.

Sylvia Makario, Co-Founder of data analytics firm Hepta Analytics Ltd said that inconsistency in data sourced from different government departments has been a challenge.

"For example the Ministry of education might have citizen names correctly, while a totally different ministry might have the names of the same person - but recorded differently based on the data software entry purchased," she said.

"Some people can't get the services (they) require because of the mismatch on names on their IDs or sometimes one is required to write a letter and bring unnecessary additional documents to prove they actually (are) who they say they are, leading to a waste of time and resources," Makario added.

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