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News: Ethiopian lawmakers approve Digital IT bill into law

Tagesse Chafo, Speaker of the House, presiding over the session today. Photo: HoPR

Addis Abeba – Members of the House of People’s Representatives (HoPR) this morning approved into law the proposed Ethiopian Digital Identity Proclamation by a majority vote, with one abstention, the Parliament said.

The bill was presented by the Chairwoman of the Standing Committee on Law and Justice, MP Esgenet Mengestu, who said that it is important to establish a “comprehensive, consistent and reliable system for the registration of the citizens” in the country and to have a legal basis for the use of the digital ID system by keeping the information of the registrants.

She also stated that the Digital ID law will create “favorable conditions for establishing a system of transparency and accountability” in the services provided using the ID and for a streamlined service delivery system.

The Parliament cited unnamed MPs who proposed that individuals and institutions who provide the digital ID fraudulently to be be considered to have committed the “crime of treason” and face severe punishment, according to the statement from the Parliament.

MP Esgenet explained that the decree was designed to serve for a longer period of time and that if individuals or institutions are found to have given a fake Digital ID, they will be severely punished.

After discussions on the issue, the lawmakers passed the bill as Proclamation No. 1284/2015 with one abstention and a majority vote. AS

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