Ethiopia is preparing to enforce a mandatory national digital ID requirement to access select crucial government services. With nationwide implementation to be carried out in phases across government agencies, the move signals a paradigm shift where citizens without digital IDs will find themselves ineligible for these services.


Yodahe Zemichael, the Executive Director of Ethiopia’s National ID Program, shared in an interview with Shega that integrating some essential public services into the digital ID framework has been the long-term vision of the program.

“We plan to integrate all services into the digital ID. This has been the vision of the proclamation and why we are allocating resources,” stated Yodahe.

In March 2023, lawmakers approved the Digital Identity Proclamation. While the proclamation does not mandate citizens to register for IDs, it grants institutions the right to deny services. “Institutions can legally deny service if their customers don’t have a digital…

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