eCitizen targets Sh1b daily from 30 million subscribers

Immigration PS Julius Bitok addresses the media during the reception of the first batch of travelers who used the Electronic Travel Authorization system to come to Kenya without a Visa at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on January 05, 2024. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

The government is targeting at least Ksh1 billion daily revenue on eCitizen by December by increasing subscribers to its digital services platform to 30 million.

Immigration and Citizen Services PS Julius Bitok said the targets up from the current Sh700 million from 13 million users will be driven by ensuring all eligible Kenyans obtain an ID which is required to register an eCitizen account.

Also targeted is an aggressive publicity campaign that will profile the benefits of eCitizen such as the convenience offered by 24-hour access to over 16,000 online government services irrespective of the physical location of the client.

“On average, we are enrolling about 20,000-30,000 people every day. We are at 13 million and we’re looking at the entire population of Kenya which is 32 million adults. We are halfway and within one to two years, we should have everyone with a digital ID,” he said.

He was speaking at the Network of Africa Data Protection Associations (NADPA) conference in Nairobi. Kenya, through the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, is hosting this year’s annual event.

The focus of the three-day conference is how African governments are investing in digitisation of services while ensuring inclusion, data protection and data privacy.

Prof Bitok said the elimination of vetting committees for the issuance of IDs along border communities beginning this month is meant to make it easy for every Kenyan to access a digital National ID and the attendant benefits.

“We have removed vetting for identity documents which is an effort to ensure no Kenyan is left out or discriminated as far as getting the documents is concerned.”

The government is also banking on the new digital Identity card also known as the Maisha Card and its supporting ecosystem to provide a registration regime that is more secure from forgery and identity theft.

According to the PS, the Unique Personal Identifier also known as the Maisha Namba which will be a lifelong number will negate the need for different government institutions to collect personal data that is prone to breaches.

“There are four components in this digital ID ecosystem. Maisha Number, given to newborns which will run across their lives, in primary school, secondary, university, NSSF and NHIF and will appear in one’s death certificate.”

To protect the large of volumes of data involved in eCitizen operations, the PS said periodic data impact assessments, data safety audits and compulsory MoUs with third-party data handlers are being undertaken.

The Data Commissioner, Immaculate Kassait, said her office was happy with efforts undertaken by the State Department to safeguard data security and privacy concerns.

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