Birth, death certificates to be issued digitally
By Joshua Cheloti
Kenyans will no longer be queuing at government offices for the application and picking of birth and death certificates.
This follows the government’s plan to roll out a digital application of the two key documents.
According to Principal Secretary State Department of Citizen Services Prof. Julius Bitok, starting March 1, 2023, all applications for birth certificates and death certificates will be done online.
Prof. Bitok says the decision is in line with the government’s digitization drive.
Its rollout will coincide with the unveiling of the Unique Personal Identifiers (UPI) – a lifeline identity for newborns.
All children who are of Kenyan citizenship will get the new IDs.
It will also apply to children born outside the country who are eligible for Kenyan Citizenship as per the provisions of the Births and Deaths Registration Act.
When one dies, the UPI will also serve as a death certificate number.
Digitization of the birth and death certificate application is expected to address documentation challenges in the sector as well as enhance efficiency.
According to the Ministry of Interior and National Coordination, under which the State Department of Citizen Services is domiciled, UPI can also be used as the school’s admission number as well as the index number for national examinations.
It will also serve as the national identity number once an individual attains 18 years as well as a registration number for the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and driving licence.
The latest announcement comes just days after President William Ruto announced plans to revive the National Management Information System (NIMS) popularly known as Huduma Namba.
Unveiled during retired President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration, Huduma Namba was to incorporate all the documents that Kenyans usually carry for different services.
The plan was never actualized, even with billions used on the project that saw over 11 million Huduma Namba cards issued.
But while announcing plans to revive the project, the Head of State said it would focus on ensuring Kenyans can digitally be identified, unlike the issuance of the cards.