Somalia National ID Card Rollout Marks a Historic Step Forward

Somalia National ID Card

Somalia National ID Card Rollout – For over thirty years, Somalia’s digital identity system remained unaltered, left untouched by the sweeping technological advancements that have marked the 21st century. Now, the nation is on the brink of an important transformation. Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre has initiated a momentous shift towards digitization and civil registration. This will be achieved with the official rollout of the national ID card issuance.

In a two-day conference held in Mogadishu, the Prime Minister inaugurated the return of civil registration and the issuance of national ID cards. He remarked, “Today marks a great day for Somalia as we finally lay the foundations of a reliable and all-inclusive national identification system that is recognized worldwide.” The initiative was kick-started by the President and the Prime Minister, making it accessible to every eligible Somali citizen.

A Significant Milestone in State Building

The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, received his national identification card in Dhusamareb, the capital of Galmudug State. He highlighted the significance of this initiative as a vital milestone in the nation’s state-building journey. The national ID rollout is will enhance security and address pressing national issues. It will further lay the groundwork for a more secure and unified nation.

Digital identity systems, also known as eID, form the cornerstone of Somalia’s new digital services. They empower citizens to exercise their rights and allow businesses to operate more efficiently. The government, through this system, aims to ensure that Somali citizens enjoy equal rights in all national commitments. The Prime Minister underscored the necessity of a national ID system to combat security threats, terrorism, and identity fraud. He stated, “This system will boost our businesses and economy, our banks, communication and Hawala money transfer systems. It will strictly deal with terror networks and the fight against extremism.”

Somalia National ID Card Rollout Marks a Historic Step Forward

National ID: Much More Than a Piece of Plastic

According to Somalia’s Minister of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation, Ahmed Moallim Fiqi, a national identification system is an influential tool in the fight against extremism. It provides a sense of belonging and identity to citizens. He explained, “National ID is not only a piece of plastic, but it represents access to essential services like healthcare, education, elections, and economic opportunities to the Somali people.”

Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre launched the national identification and registration process as part of a forum held in Mogadishu. The inception of the national ID will assist the Somali people in overcoming socio-economic challenges that hinder development. It will, in addition, promote democracy and the rule of law. The new biometric ID system will create a conducive environment for national cohesion and open more opportunities for citizens.

International Support and Optimism

The conference in Mogadishu saw the participation of governmental officials, businessmen, members of civil society, and international partners. Speakers at the conference expressed optimism that the national ID will aid in the fight against the al-Shabab terror group. Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and the World Bank country manager were among those who addressed the conference.

The story of Somalia’s digital identity resurgence tracks back to 1991, a turbulent year when the national citizen registry collapsed due to national unrest, instability, disorder, and economic turmoil. The downfall of government leadership further exacerbated the situation. Now, with the rollout of the national ID card initiative, Somalia marks a major leap in its quest for security, unity, and digital transformation.