Uganda rolls out €64m ID project

The Ugandan government yesterday began issuing national identity cards, raising hopes of the ID being used to aid the free movement of citizens within the region.

The Ugandan government yesterday began issuing national identity cards, raising hopes of the ID being used to aid the free movement of citizens within the region.

In 2011, Tanzania differed with the other EAC partner states - Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi over the use of national identity cards as the region’s standard travel documents.

And at a trilateral meeting between Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda just last month in Entebbe, Rwanda was given the responsibility of chairing the EAC e-identity card sector as well as the Customs Union and single tourist visa.

 “Uganda had lagged behind in the issuance of  Identity Cards  but now that we have started, Ugandans will benefit more from the EAC Common Market Protocol,” Betty Nasenje, the Deputy Manager of Uganda’s National ID project said.

Through the directorate of citizenship and immigration control, the issuance of the identity cards to Ugandans aged from 16 years and above, will start in Kampala, Lira, Buyende and Kasese districts.

According to Nasenje, these districts will work as a pilot scheme before the exercise is extended to cover the entire country in November.

Nasenje said that the cards will also help in building the voters’ register for the 2016 polls and called on Ugandans to embrace birth registration measures.

Eresu Elyanu, a board member of the citizenship directorate, said that the new ID will make it easy for Ugandans to acquire a passport, as well as helping to detect disease outbreaks.

“Nobody will forge this ID and get away with it and nobody will be employed both in the public and private sectors without this ID,” he said.

Mühlbauer Technology Group, a German firm supplied the equipment to ensure the implementation of the 64 million Euro national project.

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