Kenya’s eCitizen portal is changing the way the Government of Kenya delivers services to its citizens. The portal was launched in 2014 by the ICT Authority of Kenya, and gives citizens access to essential services without having to visit a government office.
Kenyan citizens can create an account using their ID card number, and the form is populated using data from the Integrated Population Registration Service. This is information collected when one applies for government-issued documents, such as the national ID card and the Kenya Revenue Authority PIN certificate.
Once registered, one can use the portal to access key services. These include booking a driver’s test with the National Transport Safety Authority, applying for a passport from the Immigration Department, and searching for a title deed at the Ministry of Lands.
One can also apply to get married or enter a civil partnership through the Attorney General’s Office, or get a birth and death certificate through the Civil Registration Department.
The biggest beneficiary in this move is the Government of Kenya. In 2015, the Government collected 2.3 billion shillings in payments for services rendered through the portal. This is from the 1.2 million citizens registered on the portal. The payments are channeled directly to the Government, removing the need for middlemen and ‘paper-pushers’ who would often demand an extra payment to expedite applications.
Ordinary citizens also benefit from the service, as it makes previously opaque Government services, such as booking a driving test and applying for a birth certificate much easier and more transparent.
Financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies can check and verify whether the information and identification documents given to them by their clients are legitimate.
The system also eliminates the need for visits to multiple government offices, saving man-hours that would have been wasted on queues and filling out paperwork.
Upon application for any of these services, the user can pay using mobile money, debit cards or at an eCitizen agent.