The hall of Ethiopian parliament in Addis Ababa
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Ethiopian Digital ID Draft Law Tabled in Parliament

ADDIS ABABA – Parliament held its first discussion on the draft Ethiopian Digital Identification Proclamation along with two other bills on Thursday.

The Digital ID draft legislation was introduced to the lawmakers two months after its approval by the council of ministers.

The draft proclamation proposes to establish a reliable digital national identification system for citizens and residents in Ethiopia.

According to the bill, building the system will provide legal identity for all citizens and legal residents in the country to ensure equitable access to social and political services and promote financial and economic inclusion.

MPs, while concurring with its objective, stressed on the need for thorough discussions to make sure its effectiveness in securing privacy and human rights.

The house unanimously voted to send the draft legislation to three standing committees for further vetting before its ratification.

Ethiopia, which aims to issue 70 million digital IDs by 2025, has  already started implementing a digital National ID program and it is currently in the pre-launch phase.

Two more bills Discussed

On Thursday, MPs also referred two other draft proclamations on contract farming and plant seed to the agricultural affairs standing committee for further discussion.

The contract farming bill proposes to create a legal framework governing the relationship between producers and buyers of agricultural products.

The government said the legal famework will pave a way for formation of an effective market link that encourages production and productivity.

The second bill sent for further discussions also proposes to amend the 2013 Seed proclamation.

Tesfaye Belijige, a government whip, said the draft seed legislation will also bridge the gap the existing legislation has.

It will help the nation to preserve the country’s seed sovereignty and modernize the sector with the involvement of the private sector, according to the whip.