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Tanzania: NIDA IDs For Civic Services, Or Not?

– Research ICT Africa

Turbulent roll-out of legal ID exacerbates inequality

Tanzania has been implementing its national identity program, but Dr Patricia Boshe of the of the African Law and Technology Institute argues there are significant problems with the framework. Central to the program is the National Identification Authority (NIDA), established in 2008, in which people must register with the NIDA to access legal identity - but issuing of ID cards has been slow.

“Regardless of these hiccups, Tanzania still envisions that the NIDA ID would eventually be used as exclusive IDs to identify citizens and to access civic services. Currently most, if not all, public institutions have moved to make the National ID or NINs as primary/mandatory requirement for identification for service provision.”

As legal identity becomes widely adopted in Tanzania, a lack of one hinders access to basic goods and services, such as banks and student loans. As such, setbacks in issuing ID cards have isolated already marginalized members of society.

Out of the registered population, only about 6.2 million were issued with their NIDA ID cards. That means, about 15.8 million people were registered but had no ID cards

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