Kenyan government through the State Department of Immigration and Citizen Services announced that newborns will be issued with Unique Personal Identifier (UPI).
The PIN will be allocated to children born in Kenya who merit Kenyan citizenship.
State Department Permanent Secretary Julius Bitok on Sunday, January 22, outlined instances where children born outside Kenya will be given UPI.
“In compliance with the Births and Deaths Registration Act, it will also be adopted for children born outside the country to Kenyan citizens and who are eligible for Kenyan citizenship,” Bitok explained in a statement.
The PS explained reasons why the UPI will be important;
“The birth registration stage an attractive genesis for foundation data.
“In respect to this, the UPI will be the birth certificate number and it will also be a personalized referenced detail akin to the current Identity Card number,” the State Department explained.
In case of death, UPI will be used as the death certificate number according to the government.
“This will be important in bridging the current documentation deficit and enhancing the accuracy of official mortality records.
“When deaths are not reported, it inflates population figures and also abets identity theft crimes and manipulation of numbers in elections and other contests,” the State Department explained.
Bitok further elucidated that UPI will be adopted as the official reference for a host of services that currently demand separate identities.
“Some of the services that will use UPI include; the school’s admission number and index number, as an ID number when someone attains 18 years, the registration number for National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the Driving License Number,” Bitok explained.
Once UPI is rolled out, the government announced that it will collapse various state agencies involved in separate registrations.
Bitok remarked that collapsing of those agencies will free personnel, finances, and other scarce resources for other needs.
“It will also obviate different registration numbers and hasten the generation of a clear, integrated, and harmonized register,” he added.
In terms of advancing equality and fairness in access to services, UPI will amount to an affirmation of citizenship and it will negate the vetting of communities living along international borders as a security prerequisite to the issuance of IDs and passports
On how it is different from Huduma Number, Bitok explained, “Whereas the latter sought to register citizens afresh but under a different system, UPI will repurpose an existing and continuous exercise.”
On how newborns will be registered, Bitok explained that nurses and other medical personnel in maternity facilities will register infants while assistant chiefs will register community births.