The Kenyan government is set to launch third-generation identity cards also known as Maisha cards in the next two weeks.

Kenyans from the age of 18 and above will be eligible to receive a Maisha card.

At a meeting in Nairobi, the State Department of Immigration Principal Secretary Julius Bitok commented on the implementation process of this new identification idea.

“The national steering committee has graciously approved the proposals made by national digital identity technical committee to have a national digital identity implemented”

According to a report, on June 30 this year, the government gave a directive to the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and Digital Economy to come up with a digital identity system within 90 days.

Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo said that the government is keen on strengthening security of the digital identity system to address security threats. 

“We are going to have a master database which has a personal information of Kenyans. we don’t want to do a launch today and after launching there is annulment.

PS Bitok noted that the digital identity will have four components including Unique personal identifier called Maisha number, Maisha Card (3rd generation) and Digital ID which will be accessible on a mobile phone.

Another feature, the PS Immigration said will be Master Population register which will integrate information for Kenya citizens, immigrants and refugees.

According to Bitok, the government will spend Sh1 billion to finance the project to completion which he says involves issuing three million identity cards annually.

“We are going to put a timeline so that we give Kenyans time, but for the time being, we will have a transition period which will be like 2 to 3 years to be able to transit into the new number,” he said.

State Department of Economic Planning Principal Secretary James Mulati lauded the government’s initiative to have citizens digitally identified.