National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) Pakistan assisted the Federal Republic of Somalia in launching the Digital Nationa Identification System, which aims to provide a digital ID to all Africans by 2030.
Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre marked the momentous occasion as he unveiled the Somalia National ID on September 16, 2023, amidst the inaugural National ID conference organized by NIRA Somalia in the capital city, Mogadishu.
Gathering a plethora of influential figures and organizations, the event saw participation from Somali development allies, including representatives from Pakistan, the EU, the World Bank Group, the UK, the USA, nations from the Gulf, ID4Africa, along with diplomats and various UN agencies, according to a press statement released on Sunday.
Acknowledgements and Anticipated Benefits
During the event, the Somali Prime Minister extended his heartfelt gratitude towards the Pakistani Prime Minister and NADRA for their instrumental support in rolling out the Somali National ID initiative. He acknowledged their substantial contribution to facilitating capacity enhancement for NIRA Somalia.
The gathering also included remarks from notable attendees like the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Catriona Laing, and the British Ambassador to Somalia, Mike Nithavrianakis. They acknowledged the efficacy of NADRA’s systems and congratulated the governments of Pakistan and Somalia for this fruitful collaboration.
This identity project, funded generously through a multi-million dollar grant from the Pakistani government, will empower NIRA and the Somali Ministry of Interior to augment the nation’s governance, security, and socio-economic progression by presenting Somali citizens with a secure and globally acknowledged means of identification.
Moreover, the system is poised to enhance the efficacy of public service offerings, encompassing aspects like social welfare initiatives, healthcare provisions, and election processes, thus fostering improved governance. It is anticipated to optimize humanitarian aid distribution, ensuring timely delivery to those in dire need and promoting financial inclusiveness by facilitating easier access to banking and financial amenities, thus catalyzing economic development.
Collaboration and Technological Advancement
NADRA Chairman Asad Rehman Gilani highlighted the organization’s pride in the triumphant implementation and inauguration of Somalia’s National Identification System. He emphasized that this milestone epitomizes the potent synergy of collaboration and innovation, underscoring Pakistan’s aspiration for a secure and flourishing Somalia. Gilani noted that this endeavour augments security measures and lays the foundation for inclusive growth, financial empowerment, and enriched governance, echoing NADRA’s steadfast commitment to its global associates.
Further, he emphasized that this initiative aligns seamlessly with the Government of Pakistan’s ‘Look Africa’ policy, with NADRA emerging as a central figure in offering secure identity and passport solutions via technology transfer to several African governments, including Kenya, Sudan, and Nigeria, the latter housing the largest ID database encompassing over 100 million identities on the continent.
To conclude, implementing the state-of-the-art biometric identification scheme offers Somalis a reliable and universally acknowledged means of identification, revolutionizing aspects ranging from banking services to governmental access. This landmark initiative promises to inject positive momentum into Somalia’s economic and security spheres, embodying the spirit of cooperation and innovation and marking a significant milestone for the ID4Africa movement to realize digital identity for all Africans by 2030.