Rwanda introduces Single Digital ID System for stateless individuals and newborns

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Stateless individuals and newborns will have access to a new digital ID, in a move that aims to simplify access to public services and drive the digital economy.

Rwanda’s government has proposed an amendment to the 2008 law on registering persons and issuing national ID cards, which will follow the creation of the Rwanda Single Digital ID system (SDID).

The proposal draws inspiration from digital ID systems in Canada, Estonia, Singapore, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Stateless individuals and newborns will have access to this new digital ID, which will be available in two forms: a physical card that contains biometric data in a QR code and an unprinted version that utilizes biometrics to access the ID.

The ID number given to children will be integrated into their birth registration information, which can be modified until they are of legal age to carry a national ID.

The system is part of the government’s efforts to simplify access to public services, drive the digital economy, and ease the living conditions of citizens.

The World Bank will fund the Rwanda digital ID scheme with $40 million, executed within three years after the legislative framework is put in place.

The government hopes to sort out the legislative amendment as soon as possible.


Other countries, such as Ghana and Vietnam, have also proposed issuing digital ID cards to children, while Kenya has begun a process to issue legal IDs to stateless members of the Pemba community.


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