CS Eliud Owalo Reveals Date for Full Digital ID Rollout

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo confirmed that his Ministry would complete the rollout of the digital Identity cards by February 2024.

Speaking during the annual digital connect summit breakfast, the CS pointed out that the move would enhance the efficiency of services such as health, national security and tax collection. He affirmed that the government is keen to complete the rollout as part of its newly launched digitisation programme.

“The rationale of conceptualisation of the digital ID is informed by the fact that we don’t need Kenyans to physically flash an ID card to access government services.”

“Once we onboard the government services on technological platforms, Kenyans should be able to transact business in the comfort of wherever they are,” he stated.

The CS also noted that the government would be prudent in ensuring that the new move would not face the same fate as the previous Huduma Namba, which flopped under former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.  In January 2023, Owalo commended the former regime for the idea but attributed its failure to a lack of adequate sensitisation in the beginning.

“The intention of Huduma Namba was good because it was trying to ensure that we have a digital identity that could facilitate virtual transactions between the government and the public as far as the provision of services is concerned,”

“It is the same thing we are going to do as we roll out this government digitisation process because it is still imperative that we don’t need as Kenyans to go to government offices flashing identity cards,” Owalo affirmed this during an interview dated January 10, 2023.

He added that the government was on course to digitize over 5,000 government services by July 2023. President William Ruto pledged to digitize service delivery across government agencies. On Wednesday, February 15, the government announced plans to abolish the National census as the primary means of establishing the country’s population.

According to Principal Secretary of Immigration and Citizen Services Julius Bitok the state would replace Census with a Unique Personal Identifier (UPI).

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