Ethio Telecom Joines Digital ID Registration Efforts

ADDIS ABABA – The national ID Program office has engaged Ethio Telecom in its latest endeavor to make the digital ID, also known as “Fayda”, accessible to the public.

On Wednesday, the executives of the Office and the telecom company struck a deal that aims to leverage the vast network of Ethio Telecom’s service centers and infrastructure in the registration process.

Ethiopia is one of the world’s last remaining countries to launch a national-scale foundational ID system with digital capabilities.

Its program under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s Office is issuing the digital ID card also known as “Fayda” through various implementing institutions.

Ethio Telecom is the latest entity to sign up for the registration push that has already involved several other private and public institutions including banks and Ethio Post.

The telco has officially started registering people for the digital ID in 29 cities across the nation after signing the agreement with the National ID Program Office.

“Our company plans to register an average of 1 million citizens per month and issue digital IDs to 32 million citizens,” the telco said.

The ID offering verified information through biometric and demographic data is expected to streamline public service delivery. Officials hope to see 90 million citizens as well as refugees residing in the country registered by the end of 2026.

Ethio Telecom plans to cover 36 percent of the overall target.

“To ensure swift access to digital ID for all citizens,” it said, “our company leverages its extensive network of service centers, … a big data center, cloud services, and other enabling digital infrastructure.”

Individuals aged five and above are eligible to register for the national digital ID system, established through the enactment of the Digital ID law in March 2023.

The country also enacted another legislature called the Personal Data Protection Proclamation which sets rules on how personal data is collected, stored and managed within the framework of the national digital ID program.

Last month, authorities also started issuing digital ID cards to refugees living in Addis Ababa on an opt-in basis to allow them access to government-directed services and economic opportunities in the country.

The goal is to avail it to nearly 1 million refugees – mainly from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan – living across Ethiopia – the third largest refugee-hosting country in Africa.

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