NAIROBI Kenya, Jan 27 – President William Ruto tasked the Ministry of ICT to revive the government’s effort to give Kenyans digital identities.
Speaking during the commemoration of the Data Privacy Day at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), President Ruto said the move was in line with his government’s plan to digitize 5,000 services.
He explained that with the digitization of government services, Kenyans will require digital identification.
“I have asked the Ministry of ICT to work on a digital identity so that the big Huduma thing (Huduma Namba) that never was, we can finally have as Kenya, a digital identity,” he said.
“I have told my good friend ICT CS Eliud Owalo that by the end of this year, Kenyans must be able to identify themselves digitally.”
The digital identities (ID) are meant to replace the Huduma Namba which was launched in 2019 by Uhuru Kenyatta’s government.
The President added that Kenya will be able to embrace the brave new world and make its way in it, with the awareness that it must move fast in order to develop the capacity to derive maximum benefits from its opportunities.
In a recent interview on Citizen TV, CS Owalo noted that the Huduma Namba initiative was well-intended, but the process of introducing it to Kenyans was flawed.
“What is happening is that Huduma Namba was a very well-intended initiative, but the process of introducing it to the market was wrong. The pitfall that befell the Huduma number is that there wasn’t adequate sensitization at the beginning,” said Owalo.
The CS maintained that for such a project to become a success, the government should have involved all stakeholders, including Kenyans.