The National Identification Programme is finalising plans for the mass enrolment in which a national data bank of citizens of Uganda will be created. The exercise which will end with the issuance of National IDs starts on February 17th.
The latest enrollment follows a series of controversies that marred the initial exercise leading to its suspension last year when government announced that the data that was being used to issue national IDs lacked a string of key parameters for issuing IDs.
Uganda remains the only country in East Africa without a National ID. At the moment, the nationally accepted form of identification documents still remain birth certificates, driving permits, local council or resident IDs, voters’ cards, marriage certificates and passports.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson, Pamela Ankunda explains that the directorate of Citizenship and Immigration control is already testing equipment at the National ID registration Secretariat at Kololo airstrip.
The equipment being tested includes cameras, laptops, spare batteries, finger print readers, scanners and generators. The test is to ensure that all gadgets are in proper working condition when the enrollment takes effect, Pamela Ankunda adds.
Based on the National Identity Register, the government will then offer Ugandans services such as passports, social services, financial services, electoral purposes and security.
The data base will also be used for provision of social services such as education, health, cross border Immigration and passport control.
According to Ankunda, as part of preparation for mass enrolment, different agencies like the Electoral Commission, UPDF, Uganda Police Force, and Uganda Registration Services Bureau – URSB, Uganda Bureau of Statistics – UBOS have contributed human resources to the exercise.
The National ID will also be helpful in employment-pension contributions, benefits and insurance Law enforcement. It will also be used to conduct the electoral processes, tax and to know the national population statistics like censuses, surveys, segregation and monitoring trends for planning purposes.