Somalia introduces digital national identification cards for citizens

Somalia on Saturday launched a “historic” national identification card and registration process in an effort to foster digital transformation in the Horn of Africa country.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre are the first to receive national identification cards.

Mohamud described the rollout as a key milestone in a statement posted on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, stating that “this crucial document shall enhance security, public service provision & provide our citizens (with) a means to establish their identity.”

Premier Barre said at the launch ceremony in the capital Mogadishu that the new biometric identity card system will provide more opportunities for citizens while also creating a conducive environment for national cohesion in the country.

“With the launch of the biometric identification system, our citizens will enjoy their full constitutional rights as of today,” he said.

He said the inception of the national identification will help the Somali people overcome “myriad socioeconomic challenges that hinder their development potential while advancing democracy and the rule of law.”

The historic national identification card rollout comes as the country is in the middle of a war against an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group that has been fighting the government and African Union Peacekeepers in the country since 2007.

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