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Somali Identification Team meets with World Bank officials to discuss National ID cards

Hiiraan Online
Tuesday July 3, 2018

Nairobi (HOL) - Somalia’s Digital ID Team met with senior World Bank officials on Tuesday in Nairobi to go over plans on the government-led initiative to provide ID’s to all Somalis.

The Somali National Identity Program, the first of its kind for Somalia, will attempt to create an identification system based on biometric data. The National ID systems designed to be the nucleus of a new national identification infrastructure and will act as an entry point for service delivery for Somali authorities, civil society, development partners and the private sector.

The ID system will promote linkages with the delivery of services by the private sector, link IDs with electronic Know Your Customer (KYC) verification in the financial sector and coordinate social protection programs such as unconditional cash transfers. IDs would also play a crucial role in security, displacement and democratization processes.

Dr. Nur Dirie Hersi Fursade, Chief Strategist in the Office of the President of Somalia, and Head the Digital ID Program said that the government cannot adequately respond to its citizen's needs without the implementation of the ID system.

“The Somali Government is rapidly developing governance structures that will be able to respond to citizen needs”, said Dr. Nur Dirie Hersi Fursade, Chief Strategists in the Office of the President of Somalia. “Parallel to these developments, we need to make sure that Somali citizens and eligible residents are provided with identification credentials, which will enable access to vital services including aid and money transfer services. Implemented in this way, the new ID system acts as an effective and neutral entry point for addressing the effects of the global de-risking agenda by the Somali authorities”.

During the meeting, Dr. Nur outlined the envisioned identification infrastructure, legal and regulatory framework, implementation schedule and budget. He also added that the Office of the President hopes to establish a new federal agency to manage the ID system.

Dr. Nur also outlined the details of the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Somali Federal Government and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) of Pakistan. He said that NADRA has the unique experience in designing and delivering the ID software in a fragile country.

It is estimated that over 1.1 billion people in the world are unable to access vital services because they are unable to prove their identity. The majority of those people live in Africa and Asia and over a third of them are children. The World Bank Group's senior management has emphasized the importance of identification for development and ensured that institutional resources would be at hand to support the endeavour.

Among the attendees of the meeting were World Bank Group, DFID, EU, Norway, Denmark and USAID.


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