Govt Abolishes 10-Year Census, Announces Way Forward
The government on Wednesday, February 15 announced plans to do away with the National census as the primary means of establishing the country’s population.
In a statement, Principal Secretary of Immigration and Citizen Services Julius Bitok stated that the government would replace Census with the introduction of the Unique Personal Identifier (UPI).
“In many countries which are advanced, you don’t need a 10-year census where people are counted at night. What we’re are launching is foundational to ensure that in future, we have accurate data about our population,” he disclosed.
Equally, UPI would be issued to newborns in Kenya from next month and will also serve as the death certificate number upon the demise of the holder will aid in the maintenance of accurate population records.
An image of Immigration and Citizen Services PS Julius Bitok during the launching of Unique Personal Identifier (UPI) at KSG on February 15, 2023
Bitok spoke during a workshop on UPI rollout for regional and county Civil Registration officers at the Kenya School of Government (KSG).
With this system, the government hopes to attain 100% registrations of births.
According to the PS,14 out of every 100 births go unregistered in the country, the majority of them being from among the 30 per cent of countrywide deliveries that occur at home or in other places besides maternity institutions.
Equally, the government hopes that the number of registered deaths will increase significantly from the current 56 per cent with the benefit of easy access to digital death certificates.
The UPI which will replace the current Birth Entrance Number (BEN) is intended to be the primary identification reference for its holders with the number expected to be used in learning institutions as the student number.
Additionally, upon attainment of the age of 18, UPI would graduate into the national ID thereby negating the need for registration by the National Registration Bureau as is the current practice.
“The UPI will be used in school and later in life to be the ID number when they get 18 years old. They will use that number as the KRA number, the NHIF, and NSSF. It will be a number for everything that a citizen will need,” Bitok communicated.
President William Ruto has identified the digitization of government services as a priority agenda of his administration and set a target of onboarding at least 5000 services onto the e-Citizen platform.
President William Ruto speaking during the commemoration of the Data Protection Day at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) on January 27, 2023