Somalia launches its national identification system

By : Samira Njoya

Date : mercredi, 20 septembre 2023 12:34

In Africa, governments are gradually adopting tech solutions to address document fraud, identity theft, terrorism, and cybercrime as well as upgrade to international standards.  

The Federal Republic of Somalia will start issuing biometric identity cards to its citizens. On Sunday, September 17, on the sidelines of a conference organized in Mogadishu by the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre inaugurated the Somali National Identification System (SNIDS).

Designed with the help of a multi-million dollar grant from Pakistan, the new system aims to provide Somalis with a secure and universally recognized form of identification.

The SNIDS digital solution was developed by NIRA in partnership with NADRA, Pakistan's National Database and Registration Authority. It is the result of a partnership signed by the two institutions in 2017.  It aims to issue identity cards to at least 15 million Somalis, including children, by 2026. It is in line with "ID4Africa", a movement that aims to provide all Africans with a digital identity by 2030.

The system will assign a unique identification number (NIU) based on demographic and biometric data to any individual of Somali nationality or resident in Somalia. According to the Prime Minister, this identity number will serve as an identification document for each individual until his or her death. This data, together with the NIU, will make it possible to set up a central, secure, and reliable database that will serve as a reference for verifying the identity of beneficiaries of public, private, or social services.

"NADRA takes immense pride in the successful execution and launch of Somalia's National Identification System. This achievement reinforces Pakistan’s vision for a more secure and prosperous Somalia, where every citizen has access to reliable identification. The National ID System will not only bolster security but also pave the way for inclusive development, financial empowerment, and improved governance," said NADRA Chairman Asad Rehman Gilani.

Samira Njoya


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