Somalia has introduced a new biometric registration system to issue national identity cards for the first time since war broke out in the Horn of Africa nation three decades ago.    

With much of the country's government infrastructure destroyed, including agencies tasked with providing civil registration or identification, Somalia has not had an identity management under a single national system since the war.    

Somalia enacted the Somalia Registration and Identification Policy in 2018, and the bill was passed by the Upper House in March this year that was signed into law by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in the same month, allowing citizens to officially register their identification.

Mohamud, the first one to receive the card as part of a countrywide rollout, said the initiative was a significant milestone in Somalia’s state-building process.    

He said the national ID was important for security, the banking system, countering corruption and would allow citizens to access a variety of e-Govt services.     

"I am proud to receive my national ID card today under the historic Somalia ID Card roll out," he said on messaging platform X formerly known as Twitter. The new system would "provide our citizens a means to establish their identity."     

Somalia and Pakistan signed a contract to develop the ID system for Somali citizens. The new registration system was also backed by various UN agencies and the World Bank.     

(Editing by Seban Scaria