The Kenyan government announced on November 18, local time that it will phase out the current resident ID card by December 2021 and switch to the full use of the “Huduma” card (Huduma Namba in Swahili, meaning “service number” ).
In the future, the “Huduma” card will become the only ID card for all Kenyan citizens, foreign residents and refugees in Kenya, and those who do not hold the “Huduma” card will not be able to obtain government services.
Kenya’s Interior Minister Fred Matiangi said that it will take 12 months to transition from the current ID card to the “Huduma” card.
Kenyan citizens and foreign residents who have completed the registration of a Huduma number will receive mobile phone text messages from December 1 to notify the location of the card pickup.
From the beginning of 2019, the Kenyan government requires Kenyan citizens and foreign residents to register for the “Huduma” card; the second batch of large-scale registrations will begin on April 1, 2021.
Kenyan children over 6 years old must apply for the children’s “Huduma” card, Kenyan adults over 18 years old must apply for the adult version of the “Huduma” card; foreigners with a Kenyan residence visa must apply for foreigners The “Huduma” card of the refugee version; refugees residing in Kenya must apply for the “Huduma” card of the refugee version.
At least 37.7 million Kenyans have registered for the card.
The “Huduma” card has been controversial since its launch. The Kenyan people and some opposition parties have raised concerns about the security, monitoring and discrimination issues of the centralized identification system.
They believe that the implementation of a digital identification system requires at least strong cooperation. Privacy data protection regulations.