Israeli firm chosen for Kenya’s Sh13bn digital ID project

Digital e-card
The e-card will cost Sh500. PHOTO/COURTESY
An Israeli firm has been contracted to set up a digital registry of Kenyans, marking the start of a process that will see all the biodata of individuals stored in a single data bank.

Once the Sh13 billion digital registry is established, all Kenyans – including children – will be registered and issued with digital ID cards by October 2015.

The e-cards, which will contain biodata of all persons; their assets, driving licences, bank accounts, passport numbers and personal identification numbers (PIN), will be used universally starting January 2016.

The digital ID card will contain information on school entry, employment, company ownership, certificate of good conduct, log book, bank accounts, health insurance, PIN card, voters registration, vehicles registration, property, travel visas, e-driving licence, pension and e-passport.

Phase one of the e-registration will be launched in Nairobi then rolled out to the other 46 counties in February next year.

The Israeli firm, whose name is yet to be made public, is the lead implementing partner under a public-private partnership and will carry out the task with the help of a consortium of technology firms.

The government hopes the digital ID cards will aid the war against terrorism while enhancing fight against corruption, tax evasion and loan default.

“All citizens of all ages will be required to undergo a national digital registration at the designated centres to be announced so as to capture correct and complete biometric data,” said Mwende Gatabaki director-general of the Kenya Citizens and Foreign National Management Service.

The e-card is expected to cost Sh500 for people over the age of 12 years and Sh100 for children below 12 years.

Updating of records will be free while replacement of a lost card will cost Sh1,000.

Payments from citizens for acquiring the e-cards are expected to raise Sh3 billion annually, from which the Israeli firm will recoup its initial investment of Sh9 billion.