Tanzania is now working to merge all credentials numbers issued by various institutions into a single unified set of numerals per person to make residents’ identification easier and manageable.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications, Technology and ICT, Mohammed Abdullah explained here that at the moment the country’s different institutional systems neither read nor recognize each other.
As the result a single person is being subjected to a myriad of identification cards and numbers.
These include the National Identity Numbers, Drivers’ License Numbers, Voters’ Cards Number, National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) Number, National Social Security Numbers as well as Passport Numbers not to mention the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
That essentially means an average adult Tanzanian is thus forced to be carrying around a whole parcel of identification tags, well, at least seven different identity numbers to accomplish their daily tasks and routines.
According to the Permanent Secretary, however, there is now the need to create a single national portal of information so that each system in the country will be able to draw a person’s information from a single source.
In that respect, the Government has just announced that all these identification numbers issued by various authorities and institutions will now be combined into a single official identity tag to be brandished as a ‘Unique Number!’
“To address that, we have gathered here representatives from the National Registration Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA), the National Identification Authority (NIDA), the Tanzania Immigration Department, National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) as well as the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA),” revealed PS Abdullah.
Also on the panel were representatives from the Zanzibar Civil Status Registration Agency (ZCSRA), operating in the Isles.
“As we enter into the global digital economy, Tanzania has seen the importance of introducing a single, cross-platform identity number threshold for all its citizens,” the Permanent Secretary maintained.
Discussions of experts meeting in Arusha were essentially trying to come into agreement regarding which among the current entities of citizens’ registrations authorities should form the referral basis for the proposed unification of various IDs.
So far the three most recognized identities are the National Identification (NIDA) cards, East African Passports, issued by the Immigration Department and the Digital Driving Licences from the Tanzania Revenue Authority in association with the Tanzanian Police.
Most Tanzanians, in fact 73 percent of those aged 18 years and above, own Voters Identity Cards. These started being issued during the 2015 polls by the National Elections Commission (NEC) and got revised in 2020.
According to the recent Finscope survey of 2023, the penetration of the National Identification Number (NIN), has increased significantly from 10 percent recorded in 2017 to over 57 percent in 2023.
But with the new anticipated unified Tanzanian ID, the age of pass holders will no longer be restricted from just 18 years and above, this time the identity numbers will start to be issued right from person’s birth.
As per the 2022 National Population and Housing Census, there are 62 million Tanzanians in the country at the moment.