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How Having Digital ID’s will save kenya Billions

After several false starts, Kenya will, beginning this month, kick off the digitisation of the driving licence.

IN SUMMARY

  • Top on the list of challenges inherent in the current document is its rudimentary nature.
  • One can easily replace the bearer’s picture and waive it at any policeman without consequences.
  • That has left open a window for criminals to abuse the driving licence.

After several false starts, Kenya will, beginning this month, kick off the digitisation of the driving licence.

For starters, this has been a long awaited move that has, like other large tenders, been delayed for all manner of reasons only underpinned by non-useful back and forth.

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Now, that it is a reality, it should help to eliminate some of the problems associated with the current document.

Top on the list of challenges inherent in the current document is its rudimentary nature.

One can easily replace the bearer’s picture and waive it at any policeman without consequences.

That has left open a window for criminals to abuse the driving licence.

The fact is however that the new document comes with the technology that will alert authorities on offenders who are illegally on the road against court orders.

In the past, one only needed to change location as the unwieldy paper documentation in our court systems took a long time to facilitate such co-ordination.

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But even as it is launched, there is a need to caution that change of behaviour — observing traffic and other laws — will be the country’s ultimate salvation. A law without attitude change is not much of a solution.

The biggest fault of the new document though is wastefulness tied to it.

As the government moves to centralise data, there is no reason the country could not use a single chip to store all official identification details. Why, for instance, should we invest in the Kenya Revenue Authority, the National Hospital Insurance Fund, the National Social Security Fund, Immigration, national ID card and all others that should be shared?

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The short answer is poor planning. But the long one is that we have to serve tenderpreneurs by paying billions.

We have to shed this bureaucratic segmentation mentality that is not serving our interests going forward.

True, there might be laws that may impede the process but Parliament and the Executive are paid to align processes for ease of transacting.

Before we roll out a wonder system for a single department, we should think about the wider implications and settle for a system that consolidates documents.

Source/businessdailyafrica

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