African Registrars General are meeting in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, for the first time to deliberate on how to improve civil registration as part of implementing the civil registration and vital statistics process the continent.
This is in recognition of the fact that the implementation of the African Programme for Accelerated Improvement of the civil registration and vital statistics would not be successfully undertaken by statisticians alone without involving the Registrars General who are responsible for registration of vital events such as births, deaths, marriage, divorce and adoption.
The inaugural meeting of the Registrars, described as historical, proposed the establishment of a “Commission of African Registrars Generals”.
The proposed Commission of African Registrars General will be presented at the 4th conference of ministers responsible for civil registration and vital statistics that will be held December 6-8, 2017 in Mauritania.
Upon endorsement by the ministers, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) will be the secretariat of conference of ministers which meets every two years.
Mr. Oliver Chinganya, Director of the African Centre for Statistics, said the gathering of Registrars Generals, the first ever, as a commission will enhance and facilitate the visibility of vital civil registration systems on the continent.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Chinganya said the committee was long overdue. He said the committee will help push Africa’s vital civil registration agenda and help to “resolve the scandal of invisibility.’’
The meeting was officially opened by the Victoria Falls Mayor, Mr. Sifiso Mpofu, who urged the Registrars General and others present to come up with effective strategies of elevating vital civil registration to the fore front of development.
“I urge you to fight and make vital civil registration a weapon to protect our population. I plead with you to fight and make vital civil registration a tool for development. Make it a torch bearer to national dignity,” he said.
“Our people should not struggle to acquire national documents. Africa is looking up to you for salvation. It is relying on your expertise and wealth of experience to deliver.”