At the end of the month of June 2023, the government of Kenya under the leadership of His Excellency the president of the republic of Kenya Dr. William Ruto officially launched Ecitizen portal making over 5,000 government services readily accessible to its citizens.
In this blogpost, I will review the New Ecitizen portal.
Generally, the landing page looks clean and neatly done. The information is well organized starting with the most requested services like application for a driving license, showing on top of the page. Before you can signup or sign in, you are able to check if the service you are looking for here is available.
You can do this by typing the name of the service, ministry, department or agency on the search bar on top and hit enter on your Keyboard to search. This will display the service if available.
Website loading speed is fast and seamless compared to how it was in the past. With clean landing page design, its easy to locate the sign in and register links on top of the site once you are here.
Here, services are classified in two categories namely National and County. Aside using the search bar to find the service you are looking for, you can access them using the menu links on top and below the website.
Logging In, Registration and Security
If you are new to Ecitizen, you will need to register in order to access the services here. Click on register to get started.
You will taken to a page to confirm the account type that you would like to create. Depending on your background, you can choose either citizen, resident, diplomat or foreigner.
For Citizens, you are required to provide your ID number, contact, password and profile photo. Some of the things needed today on the platform was not required in the past. E.g The profile photo.
For those who already have an account on Ecitizen, you just simply login with either your e-mail or national ID number as username and enter your password. One thing that you will notice when logging in is that 2Factor authentication has been introduced, something that was not there in the past. This is a good move to a more secure digital future for Kenyans.
One Time password Verification can be done via e-mail or phone. This is the phone number and email you signed up with.
Once you are logged in to your account, you will taken to the dashboard that looks like the image below. On top, you can see summary of your personal details. Also on top you can find menu links to manage your profile and account.
From here you can start searching for the service you want.
Profile & Account Management
When you click on profile, you can view your identity documents like your national ID and driving license. As it looks, the details on the previews available here are not complete. However, there is a note below the preview to notify users that its only for illustrative purposes.
There are other new menu tabs under your profile which I believe it will be active once population of data from relevant organizations is complete. As it looks, in future, the government will have all your data including your health, income, taxes, family and more. When that time comes, no one will be excluded from government activities.
Under the Account Management menu tab, make changes on your account critical data like phone number, e-mail and password. Also, you can choose to disable the 2 factor authentication here.
There are other additional menu items that are not active yet like biometrics and electronic signature which I think it will be active in future.
With all this information, what else will the government need in order to control it’s citizens? absolutely nothing. I am just saying.
Help & Support
If you encounter problems while accessing services on the portal, there is a dedicated team ready to assist you with your problem. Click on help and support menu on top and you will be taken to this page here.
Here you can choose which way you would like to get help and support. There is a phone number and e-mail address that you can use to contact support team. Alternatively, you can visit Huduma Center to get the help you need.
But before you reach out, its always wise to go through all the Frequently asked questions (FAQs) and see if the answer you are looking for is there. I have reached out several times to the support team on Ecitizen in the past and I got the assistance I needed. So, good news is that the contacts you find here are working.
While ‘recent applications‘ tab is visible on the dashboard, it’s no yet active. Same thing with notifications. The only way to see the request you have made in the past is going to the site that you requested service in and you will be able to view your request. E.g BRS portal if you had applied to register a business or company.
Secondly, there used to be a live chat feature which only a bot responded to in the past. That was a clever idea. With more and more government services being linked to Ecitizen, its important to also reintroduce live chat so that users can get help via chat in real time.
Finally, the portal is sometimes down. I guess it is due to the amount of traffic/visitors to the portal. It notifies the user that their internet network is down yet in reality, the internet connection is ok.
At the time of doing this review, the site was down for almost a whole week and I had to hold the review until it was back. The government through the ICT cabinet secretary later responded to the downtime saying there was a cyber attack which was not successful. He said that the technical team was able to block the attackers IP address on time.
Unless the service you are looking for requires you to be there physically, there is no need of paying a visit to the government office issuing the service. First check if they have the service on Ecitizen portal. If they do, well and good, make your application online.
Technology is here to simplify work and make everything convenient. Take advantage of it because you can. Moreover it’s cheaper that way.
And that’s it from me.
Have you made any applications on Ecitizen portal? How was your experience like? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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