NAIROBI, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Kenya said on Tuesday that it has started the process of introducing a digital ID for its citizens in a bid to boost e-commerce, curb online fraud and increase the uptake of government services.
Eliud Owalo, the cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Digital Economy, said in a statement released in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi that the lack of a digital ID has stifled the expansion of e-commerce activities, which depend on digital trust to process transactions.
"The success of e-commerce depends on digital trust, built through verification and authentication processes, especially during merchant and customer registrations and payments, as well as through rating systems. A strong digital trust generates a sense of security in a transaction -- a key to any e-commerce activity," he said.
Owalo added that the document, which will be in place by February 2024, will be key in authenticating citizens to access the over 5,000 government services, which have been digitized.
"The various government agencies will now be able to efficiently provide services to the correct persons without imposters, or fraudsters, coming in between as those requesting services will be authenticated online via their biometrics which are largely foolproof," he said.
Owalo noted that by having the digital ID, Kenya will be able to remain socially, economically and technologically relevant in the new world order.
"The digital ID has been utilized effectively in India, Pakistan, Estonia, Belgium and many other parts of the world. Kenya as a country cannot be left behind in the new world order," he said.
According to Statista, a global data firm, e-commerce use in Kenya is above the regional average, with revenues expected to grow annually by 16.4 percent by 2025, to hit 1.1 billion U.S. dollars.