The government plans to set up Huduma Centres (one-stop shops for select State services) in Uganda to offer government services electronically to the large population of Kenyan students studying in the country.
The centres will provide services offered by institutions such as the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and also host an emergency fund targeting destitute Kenyans living in the neighbouring country.
Uganda has for decades been an education hub for Kenyan students. More than 40,000 Kenyans are currently studying in Uganda. Kenyan businessmen and companies are also top investors in Uganda, with over 350 firms operating in the country.
“Enhancement of Kenya’s diplomatic presence in Uganda will include some components of Huduma services to address the needs of Kenyans in Uganda. This directive was issued after engaging with the diaspora community in Uganda. The modalities will be worked out by the Foreign Affairs (ministry),” said Secretary of Delivery in the Executive Office of the President, Nzioka Waita, yesterday.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was in Uganda for a three-day State visit where he met the Ugandan business community and the Kenyan diaspora.
The president also addressed the Ugandan Parliament yesterday.Mr Kenyatta and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni also held bilateral talks on trade and regional integration. The Huduma Centres fall under the Ministry of Devolution and Planning.
Since its launch, the one-stop shop concept has received several awards in recognition of its role in easing service delivery to citizens and minimising corruption.
Launched last November, the concept uses Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) outlets across the country.
In the first phase of the project in Nairobi, citizens can now access 18 services from 10 different government agencies.
The project will be replicated in 46 counties to enable citizens access services such as renewal of driving licences, issuance of duplicate identity cards, processing of National Hospital Insurance Fund cards and having stamp duty assessment done at the outlets.
Processing of the documents is currently done manually but this is expected to be automated in the second phase when the government anticipates that most of its agencies will have digitised their documents.
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