18 September 2021
Strengthening Estonia-UN Relation for Digital Transformation
On her first visit to Kenya, the President of the Republic of Estonia Her Excellency Kersti Kaljulaid visited the UN supported Civil Registration Services Office to see progress of the collaboration between Kenya and Estonia on improvement of Civil Registration and Verification Services. This is following a study visit by the Kenyan delegation to Estonia in 2018. The study tour supported by UNICEF, sought to gain more knowledge on global best practices in the Civil Registration especially the use of Unique Personal Identifier (UPI). Estonia has a highly developed National Identity Card (ID) system where citizens can access all their data through the State portal. They can access services like registration of companies, view medical records, employment history among others within minutes. This is aligned to the proposed use of “huduma Namba” in access of all government services through the national integrated identification management system (NIIMS). Following this visit Kenya embarked on the process of automation of CRVS system and were able to digitize 32.5 million births and deaths records., review of the CRVS laws and drafting of the anchor law to harmonize all the registration processes, the Huduma Bill; introduction of a unique identifier number referred to as the “Huduma Namba” and Linking of the automated CRS system with the national integrated identity management system. UNDP has also supported supports civil registration and identity management through procurement of equipment for digitization, capacity development and training, while WHO is instrumental in the implementation of Rapid Mortality Surveillance to generate quality and timely mortality data that informs the magnitude of the Covid-19 effect and UNFPA supported the analysis, generation and dissemination of quality and timely vital statistics reports. The President Said Kenya has great potential to advance faster in development with the help of technology “Estonia has been able to transform itself from a middle income country to a rich country by embracing technology and developing string institutions. We are also leveraging on strong digital learning, infrastructure and policies to build a strong educational system”. The President also toured the Swift-lab technology hub in Nairobi supported by UNDP. The Hub is a medical logistics company that is using drones to deliver critical medical supplies in remote hard to reach areas. Estonia has promised to support Kenya enhance its digital footprint towards supporting the SDGs and leaving no one behind.