You have probably heard stories about the 666 mark of the beast. If you haven’t then you are safe. Those are some old stories you shouldn’t care about.
Kenya today launched an Integrated Population Registration System (IPRS), a central database with the true identity of everyone in Kenya-Kenyan citizens and all foreign nationals resident in the country to make e-gov a reality.
Launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta, the IPRS is expected to be the source of credible data critical for development and indispensable for planning and delivery of public services. It will consolidate population registration data into one database for ease of verification by both Government and private bodies.
The first phase of the project will establish a National Population Register (NPR) with data on all Kenyan citizens and foreign residents while the second will be a unique identifier (PIN) assigned to every person’s record at birth, which then acts as a reference in all transactions regarding that person.
The NPR works with two sets of agencies — primary registration agencies that include Civil Registration Department, National Registration Bureau, Immigration Department and Department of Refugees’ Affairs.
It also works with another set of agencies referred to as secondary registration agencies that use the date and also update the register. The secondary registration agencies include NSSF, KRA and NHIF. The NPR is currently linked to all the primary registration agencies. All secondary agencies have been asked to link up with the IPRS to make service provision easier.
The system is expected to improve trade, investment and job creation as well as help fight corruption, trafficking, money laundering and terrorism.
“It is therefore imperative for Government to have the means to collect, verify and administer data on every individual resident in our country,” he said.
The President said such data is necessary for Government to provide adequate and efficient socioeconomic services to citizens.
President Kenyatta said the policy to come up with the integrated registration system was necessitated by the realisation that the documentation system in use in the country was a cumbersome and old system.
Under the old information system, anyone desiring information on an individual has to navigate huge volumes of manual data in different places and verification and due diligence information is difficult.
“This challenge hampers the capacity of stakeholders to detect or prevent fraud, impersonation or other criminal activity. It also makes it costly to generate proper planning information” President Kenyatta said.
This means one’s birth certificate, school certificate, KRA PIN, and other documents are centrally stored for easy access. The death are also marked out of jobs and services and election register.
Below is the president’s speech in full.
We are gathered here this morning to begin an important journey for us as a Nation. This journey is vital and overdue. It is critical for economic development, and indispensable for planning and delivery of public services. Innumerable public and private activities require credible official data for successful planning and execution.
We live in an era of intense integration across borders and continents.
Every minute, people the world over are interacting in real time and traveling swiftly in pursuit of social, official and business opportunities. The interconnectivity and mobility of people has brought vast opportunity.
It has also introduced dangers and threats that were remote or unimaginable only a few years ago. Investors and entrepreneurs can transact and collaborate across the world, exchanging large volumes of information and money on different platforms. This is good for trade, investment, wealth and job creation.
At the same time, the same phenomenon offers opportunities for corruption, trafficking, money laundering, terrorism and other crime to be conducted with similar ease. Indeed, the global nature of various crimes is dependent on the globalized context in which we all live and work.
It is therefore imperative for Government to have the means to collect, verify and administer data on every individual resident in our country.
This is necessary for Government to provide adequate and efficient socioeconomic services to citizens. It is also critical in order to keep the country safe and free from the activities of undesirable elements.
My Administration realized that as a country, we can sustain the excellent growth trajectory we have embarked on through a programme of conscious socioeconomic transformation. To do this, planning is indispensable.
We need to know how many people we serve, who they are, what their needs and aspirations are. We need to know about new citizens as soon as they are born or naturalized. Likewise, we needed to know about those who leave our midst, when and why.
However, there was a great challenge. Our civil data was contained in old manual systems maintained under different frameworks.
These ranged from the Civil Registration Bureau, National Registration Bureau and the Department of Immigration to the Office of the Registrar-General, National Social Security fund and the National Hospital Insurance Fund. These frameworks are based on an old system dating back to the Kipande colonial registration system and even earlier, to 1904 at the time of the Protectorate.
The multiple databases held by different institutions and tailored for different purposes present a significant challenge for stakeholders.
Anyone desiring information on an individual has to navigate huge volumes of manual data in different places. Verification and due diligence information is difficult. In turn, this challenge hampers the capacity of stakeholders to detect or prevent fraud, impersonation or other criminal activity. It also makes it costly to generate proper planning information.
Population registration and surveillance is a critical mandate of Governments. Every function of the State is premised on the availability of reliable information on every individual within its territory.
Ladies and Gentlemen
In order for my Government to deliver its transformational agenda, it was important for Kenya to move from estimates to actual numbers in all sectors of our economy. This is why we committed ourselves in our manifesto to establish a universal single system of registration.
This system would be activated at birth and would streamline national ID, Voter, NHIF and NSSF registration.
We pledged to manage databases from a secure, centralized location accessible to all Government ministries and agencies. I am delighted to preside today over the inauguration of my government’s initiative to deliver on this vital pledge. Over the past one year, we have worked hard to develop and test the Integrated Population Registration system.
This system has been designed to support the National Population Register.
The centralization of individual data will culminate in the development of a unique personal identification number assigned to each file. It will also create capacity to integrate with other registers using this number.
This is only our first significant step. It is the beginning of our journey to ultimately turn the Integrated Population Registration System into Kenya’s National Master Database.
This will provide a platform for systems to support the 3rd Generation Identity Card system, E-Border, E-Visa, E-Passport and the Aliens Management systems.
The result will be better quality and faster service, which you will be able to experience at the Huduma Centres.
I must remind everyone that for this system to work and sustain its integrity, we must be mindful of our civic duty. We must ensure that all births and deaths are officially reported, and transmitted to the National Population Register. We must also ensure that all aliens are documented. All Government officers responsible for registration of births and deaths must always ensure that this information is always up-to-date.
Because the National Database is actually overdue, I expect to see the development of a comprehensive Master Database accelerated. I therefore direct all Primary Registration Agencies to upgrade and automate their systems.
These systems must be capable of linking with the National Population Register, and continuously uploading and verifying data.
The Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government must move forthwith and register all unregistered citizens.
Failing to register our citizens limits their fundamental rights and unduly marginalizes them.
We want all our people to experience the transformation, make their contribution and share Kenya’s opportunities.
To ensure that our databases are comprehensive, I direct registration agencies to digitize historical manual records held by them for transmission to the Register.
Moreover, Electronic ID System, E-Border, E-Visa, E-Passport systems be implemented without further delay.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Institutions and officers charged with the administration of funds must be protected from fraud and impersonation. To facilitate full transparency and accountability, I direct all secondary registration agencies to promptly link their systems to the National Register.
These include the NSSF, the KNEC, PSC, TSC, the Public Trustee and pension administrators as well the Lands Registry.
A robust and reliable Master Data Management System which delivers high standards of confidentiality, integrity and accessibility must be our common objective.
It is your job to deliver them. I expect the entire exercise to be complete within 12 months of this launch.
My Government is committed to running a smart, responsive, transparent and effective Government. We are keen on digital solutions and real-time services.
The consolidation of accurate data and digitization of information is a key component of this commitment. Our pledge to deliver accountability involves real-time availability of reliable data to anyone seeking it.
I urge all officers associated with this project to dedicate themselves to diligence, discipline, integrity and professionalism. I thank you for the good work done so far.
The nation expects more and better, and I know you will be equal to the task. Do not look back.
The Integrated Population Registration System and the National Population Register are now officially launched.
Thank you, and God bless you all.