In a bid to ensure the country is fully digitized and remains in the top 10 African countries in ICT development, the Kenyan government launched the eCitizen portal. This is a one stop shop for everything government. The eCitizen website makes it easier for individuals across the country to access information and government services at the touch of a button.
Services have been made far more accessible with this portal and remarkably faster. The need to walk up and down the busy government offices in search of public service is now long gone. As long as you have an internet enabled phone and internet connection, you can now access over 10 different government services from the comfort of your home.
Kenyans in the diaspora can also access these services and relevant information through the website and even reach out to public offices where necessary.
The Kenyan eCitizen portal allows you to access a variety of services. To register your account you only need to have your ID number and your first name. Once you have created your account, you can access some of the following services;
- Business name search and registration
- Registration for and issuance of marriage certification
- Provisional and actual driving licence
- Renewal of driving licence
- Land searches
- Land rent clearance certificates
- Application for passports – adult & children
- Application for Kenyan Visa
The departments currently hosted by the eCitizen portal include
- National Transport & Safety Authority
- Business Registration service
- Department of Immigration services
- Directorate of criminal investigations
- Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice
- Ministry of lands and physical planning
- Civil registration department
- County government of Mombasa
- County government of Nyeri
- County government of Kisumu
Importance of the eCitizen portal
First off it represents a great partnership between the Government and public service bodies on one hand and the public on the other. This partnership seeks to enhance information exchange, empower its citizens to achieve their needs faster and improve interactive participation across the divide.
It allows citizens to be a part of decision making in the country. Something that was a reserve of the few who knew people in high places. It also brings the government within reach of its people who can now play a bigger role in service delivery and public consultations.
The eCitizen platform has helped demystify the role of government and given it a more friendly face towards economic and social aspects of its citizen’s lives. For instance, it would take more than 2 months to get your child’s birth certificate and even then you would need to walk through a dozen offices before you are home and dry. Let’s not even get into what entrepreneurs had to go through to register their dream companies, it was just chaotic!
The mere thought of the intimidation and harsh words hurled by public officials in various capacities was enough to kill your dreams of flying out to visit other countries. Their frustrations were poured out with reckless abandon throughout the year as everyday they had to deal with 200 or more people seeking the same service, asking the same questions.
This portal has served the country a great deal of peace and effective service on a huge golden platter. You can now renew your driving licence in 5 minutes, get your passport in less than a week, and get your company going in just a matter of days!
Foreigners residing in Kenya also have a gateway to government services as part of the eCitizen portal. All you need is your foreigner certificate and first name to register an account and access the Kenyan government services fast and effectively.