The National ID Office signed a memorandum of understanding with Awash Bank last week in a bid to expand its reach through the latter's client base. Under the purview of the Office of the Prime Minister, the Office was established last year to execute the national ID programme by registering 70 million people by the end of 2025. The deal signed last week will also allow the Bank to connect to the national ID system. The Office has reached agreements with over a dozen public and private institutions to conduct registration and availed its database to some of its partners. The aim of the pilot project is to provide a unique number for each resident in the country, assigning a 12-digit ID number. The Office is partnering with financial institutions and others to expand its reach. It recently signed a similar agreement with the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), which has over 35 million clients. Awash, which started operations in 1995 with 24.2 million Br in equity raised from 486 shareholders, is the most capitalised private bank. It serves over six million customers.
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