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Identity is the key

Digital IDs promise to give citizens easier access to government services. So why do entire communities risk being left out?

More African governments are building digital ID systems. In Kenya, the government is assigning a unique identification number to each citizen. The Huduma Namba will soon be the single key needed to unlock access to a range of government services. The process requires getting the finger prints and faces of every Kenyan scanned. But many people born in Kenya don’t have the documents they need to prove citizenship and critics of the Huduma Namba system are worried that, as the IDs become essential to accessing services such as health and education, minority communities risk being further marginalised. We explore the risks and benefits of this new digital ID system, looking at the experiences of the Nubian community in Kenya, and ask what can be done to make this move towards digitisation more inclusive.
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22 minutes