Kenya to adopt Pakistan's model in issuing Smart IDs - PS Bitok
Immigration and Citizen Services Principal Secretary Prof. Julius Bitok now says that Kenya will borrow ideas from Pakistan in its rollout of the digital Identity Cards and the integration of the existing databases on registration records.
Prof. Bitok, who spoke after meeting his Pakistan counterpart Syed Ali Murtaza in Islamabad, lauded the Asian country’s model of linking registration data to national security and social-economic planning.
He said the lessons learned including collection, storage and use of records would be useful during the migration to digital birth and death certificates and its secure nature make it difficult to forge IDs while also cleaning up and consolidating existing databases into a master register.
“We currently have various databases that should ideally be collapsed into a master register for better control and management of important information while also supporting the wider national security interests,” he said.
PS Bitok also addressed the security and privacy concerns surrounding the two main national databases, including the Integrated Persons Registration System (IPRS) and the National Identity Integrated Management System (NIIMS), popularly known as the Huduma Namba.
He reiterated that the proposed lifetime Unique Personal Number (UPI) model set to replace the current birth certificate number will be the building block for a third-generation smart ID that will be progressively introduced in the country.
According to the PS, with the new ID, the government hopes to accelerate online access to its services through the eCitizen platform which has over 3,000 services on its menu.
He also notes that Kenya is partnering with public and private institutions reliant on data for business operations to provide reliable information under the Know Your Client (KYC) policy in a bid to minimise crime driven by identity theft misuse of private data.
Bitok, while in the company of Kenyan High Commissioner to Pakistan Nyambura Kamau, also toured the National Database and Registration (NADRA) in Islamabad that is responsible for the registration of births and other identity documents.
He said that NADRA further relies on its data to offer the Family Registration Certificate that confirms relationships linked by birth, marriage, and adoption which he said had led to a 30% drop in court cases around disputed inheritance.
Bitok similarly revealed that the online passport application process currently run by the Directorate of Immigration in Kenya is sourced from NADRA after they competitively won the tender.
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