To improve security, Somalia launches National Identification system


MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Federal Republic of Somalia has launched the National Identification System, a programme if well implemented, will solve the identity problem in the country, besides boosting service delivery and security, which have faced lapses before due to a lack of authentication systems.

For several decades, the country has failed to effectively implement programmes which would assist in facilitating service delivery and security, necessitating the latest approach which has been termed as "revolutionary" by key government officials, including Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre.

While launching the programme, Barre said various regulatory frameworks have been put in place to help in the storage of data which might be misused by individuals. The programme, he added, would also boost the private sector, create jobs and stabilize the country.

"Today marks a great day for Somalia as we finally lay the foundation for a reliable national identification system recognized worldwide. We have passed a regulatory framework, the Data Privacy Act, all to protect our citizens. This milestone will improve services, boost the private sector, create jobs and stabilize the country," he said.

NIRA Director General Abdiwali Abdulle in his opening remarks underlines that the ID system is far more than a card; it represents trust, security, and progress. It is a tool to empower Somali citizens, stimulate economic growth, and bolster our national security.

"As the Director of NIRA, our mission is clear: by the end of 2026, we aim to register and assign unique ID numbers to a staggering 15 million individuals across Somalia. This target embodies our commitment to ensuring efficient and inclusive identification systems that empower individuals and enable seamless access to services and opportunities."

Organizers believe the programme will enhance security by bolstering national security in Somalia. It enables authorities to verify the identity of individuals, thereby aiding in the prevention of identity theft, fraud, and other criminal activities, analysts say.

The ID card system will facilitate the efficient delivery of public services. With a standardized identification document, citizens can easily access government services, such as healthcare, education, and social welfare programs. The streamlined process reduces administrative bottlenecks, minimizes bureaucracy, and ensures that services reach the intended recipients promptly.

Further, the introduction of an ID card system promotes financial inclusion by providing individuals with a valid identification document, which is often a prerequisite for accessing financial services. This inclusion enables citizens to open bank accounts, participate in the formal economy, access credit, and engage in digital payment systems.

In addition, the implementation of a robust ID card system is crucial for conducting free and fair elections. It enables accurate voter registration, prevents multiple voting, and ensures the integrity of the electoral process. Transparent and trustworthy elections contribute to strengthening democratic institutions and fostering a sense of political stability and legitimacy among the population.

In conclusion, the ID card system provides accurate demographic data, which is essential for effective planning and governance. By having reliable information about the population, the government can develop evidence-based policies, allocate resources efficiently, and address socio-economic disparities.

It also aids in monitoring population trends, urbanization, and migration patterns, facilitating informed decision-making for sustainable development.


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