Digital Identity in Tanzania: Case Study Conducted as Part of a Ten-country exploration of Socio-digital ID Systems in Parts of Africa

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNGA, 1948) declared the right for everyone to be recognised as a person before the law. On this basis, international organisations and countries around the world have devised initiatives and systems to promote and ensure everyone is identified and legally recognised as a person. Identification systems (ID system) created for this purpose provide individuals with some form of an identity artefact (such as a card) containing personal identification information. The identity artefact gives a person not only a legal identity but also facilitates individual access to civic services. This research evaluates the ID system in Tanzania, the National Identity Authority (NIDA). The identification and registration process are still ongoing, with about 74% of the eligible population registered. However, the overall evaluation of the NIDA ID system shows a potential exclusion to civic services, system insecurity, insufficient protection framework and lack of redress system. To avoid exclusion, it is recommended that the government reconsider its objective in making NIDA IDs exclusive IDs, instead allow the use of other functional IDs parallel with the NIDA IDs. It is further recommended that the law governing the ID system be reviewed to improve the security and protection framework.