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PRESS RELEASEDecember 13, 2023

World Bank Supports Ethiopia’s Digital ID Project to Increase Access to Services and Economic Opportunities

WASHINGTON, December 13, 2023 — At least 90 million Ethiopians, as well as refugees and migrants living in Ethiopia, will have access to an inclusive and secure ID that improves their access to services and economic opportunities, as part of the Digital ID for Inclusion and Services Project approved by the World Bank Board today.

Ethiopia is one of the world’s last remaining countries to launch a national-scale foundational ID system with digital capabilities. Millions of Ethiopians lack current forms of identification, such as IDs issued by local governments and birth certificates. As a result, they face barriers that prevent participation in basic activities of the formal economy, such as opening bank accounts, accessing health insurance, receiving cash transfers and subsidies, applying for government documents and more.

The new ID system, which was established through the Digital ID Proclamation that was passed in March 2023, is known as Fayda, meaning ‘value’ in several local languages. Fayda will make it easier for Ethiopians, migrants, and refugees to access financial services, social protection, jobs, healthcare, and education, and will empower them with greater control over their personal data. Fayda will also reduce leakages and fraud in government programs and strengthen trust in online transactions, giving an important boost to Ethiopia’s digital economy. These benefits, as well as the universal accessibility and uniformity of Fayda, is expected to contribute to a sense of unity, inclusion and shared identity. The design of Fayda has been informed by several years of consultations with various stakeholder groups across the country and adaptation of international good practices for inclusion, non-discrimination, and personal data protection. More than 3.5 million people have registered in Fayda pilots to date.

By providing universally accessible proof of legal identity, Fayda’s transformative potential in Ethiopia’s peace dividends is undeniable. As an ID system of national scope, it not only fosters a sense of belonging but also ensures equal access to services, paving the way for inclusive growth and shared prosperity,” said Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Sudan. 

The Digital ID for Inclusion and Services Project will support the rollout of voluntary registration and ID issuance across the country, the development of secure and energy-efficient ICT infrastructure, the establishment of a Personal Data Protection Commission, and digital transformation of public and private sector services that integrate with Fayda. For example, the project will support accelerated financial inclusion, adaptive social protection, and access to mainstream services for refugees. Special attention has been paid to strengthening personal data protection, such as through data minimization, tokenization of sensitive data, and strengthened cybersecurity and information security capabilities. The project will also invest in developing other digital public infrastructure for service delivery, such as for data exchange and digital payments.

Of the $350 million of IDA financing, $50 million is a grant through the IDA Window for Host Community and Refugees.

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided US$458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about US$29 billion over the last three years (FY19-FY21), with about 70% going to Africa. Learn more online: #IDAworks



In Addis Ababa
Gelila Woodeneh
+251 11 66 27 00
In Washington
Daniella van Leggelo-Padilla
(202) 473-4989


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