Newborns to get identification number at birth, use it to register for ID later - CS Kindiki

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki. 

Photo credit: Pool

All children born in Kenya will soon be assigned a unique identification number at birth that will later be used in school and eventually become their national identity number, the government has said.

Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki made the announcement Monday while also signaling that the Interior Ministry will be digitising birth and death records starting March 1, 2023. 

He said newborns will soon be assigned a Unique Personal Identifier (UPI) at birth. This will later become the individual's national ID, social security number, health insurance number and eventually the death certificate number.

"It will be their Nemis (National Education Management Information System) number in school. When they turn 18, it will be the ID, NHIF, NSSF and will be the number of your death certificate," he said, adding that Kenya is now transitioning to a smart ID system. 

"In the period between the time the UPI is introduced and 18 years later when it will transit into the ID, the Ministry is working on introduction of the Third-Generation, smart and digital ID," a statement from the Ministry said. 

First 100 days 

CS Kindiki was issuing an update on the progress made by his ministry in the first 100 days in office. He said the broken passport machine has been fixed and the ministry now targets tripling current passports from three million to 10 million in the next five years.

He said he found a backlog of 1,698 applications for citizenship spanning five years and 421 have been made between the time he took over office and now.

"Some of the applications involved people who had stayed in the country for many years including a person I know from Pakistan -- my high school teacher at Lenana School who has lived in Kenya since 1971," Prof Kindiki said.