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Technology that can curb terrorism in the long run

Robert Malanya, a 22 year old ICT student at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has innovated a Digital Birth Card which he believes can go a long way in helping the government to curb terrorism among other things.

According to Robert, the biggest problem Kenya has is a poor record management system and his innovation addresses that need.

“The Digital Birth Card will make it possible for the government and security agents in the country to have records of everyone in the country,” he says.


The card uses software that has been developed using Java and mSQL technology, which co-ordinates the data entered into the system to make it readable by a bar code (or hidden information tag) that will be printed on the card.

The birth card consists of a machine that stores information and is custodian to a Tom Cat database and a card printer.

As Robert describes, in addition to the birth notification notice that is normally issued when a child is born, details of the child will be entered into a database and secured. Parents can then be issued the Digital Birth Card which has all the information regarding the birth.

The information contained in the birth card is automatically transferred to the relevant servers in the country and if approved by officials, then a birth certificate can be printed automatically and sent to the child’s parents.

The Digital Birth Card will operate like an ATM card where the bearer’s data can be displayed when the card is swiped in a machine.

“The card reader machines can be installed in many government establishments and the card will also help the government to have control of illegal immigrants.” Robert says, adding that the system has been tested in sample population in Homa Bay County and also at JKUAT.

The government has been grappling with the issue of illegal immigrants in the country for some time and the recent acts of terrorism have forced the government to launch security operations to nub the culprits.

According to Human Rights Watch, Kenyan authorities have deported 359 illegal immigrants to Somali since the launch of a security crackdown in April this year.

Well, we have a digital government and it’s about time we moved from ‘analogue’ data entering systems.


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