THE Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Dr Augustine Mahiga, has called upon various religious and political leaders to encourage the practice of registration of births, deaths and other vital events for the promotion of good governance and better lives.
Dr Mahiga made the call in Dar es Salaam at an event to mark the second annual African Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Day which will be commemorated on August 10 every year.
For Tanzania, the commemorations took place in Dar es Salaam under the coordination of the Registration Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency.
According to the minister, the exercise is being carried out across the world and it is crucial as per the requirements of the law for it acts as a contributing factor in planning for the economic growth and strengthening of the statistics systems.
He added that it is crucial for a person to have knowledge of their age and the nation at large, and was the reason why Rita has been embarking on registration of births, death and other vital events in supporting the community.
Dr Mahiga was pleased with the improvements being undertaken by RITA particularly in the area of science and technology considering that the world is revolving in the digital era whereby almost everything operates digitally.
RITA’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Emmy Hudson, said this year marks the second commemorations of the CVRS. Last year’s event which took place at Kibiti in the Coast Region was used to register 200 students from WAMA Secondary School.
Ms Hudson noted that the public ought to know of this important event which is also recognised by the United Nations including birth, death and its cause, marriage and divorce.
She disclosed that the event was one of a kind for it has drawn various stakeholders, including development partners, government institutions, religious leaders and the media who participated in several discussions and came up with strategies for successful executing CVRS.
RITA Board Chairman, Prof Hamis Dihenga explained that a birth certificate is an important legal documentation which confirms the age of a person and can act as evidence with regard to the aspect.
He observed that the document is also used in child protection against minor employment, human trafficking and involving children in times of war.
“A birth certificate can also be used as important supporting evidence in seeking students, loans, obtaining a national identification, voter registration card and a passport, among others.
“Civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system is essential for modern administrative system and good governance; it helps to acquire proper statistics of the population, age structures, and creating inclusive society in the development process,” said Prof Dihenga.
CRVS help delivering social services by helping to identify what services are needed, where and by whom.
He pointed out that statistics on marriages and divorces were also key in identifying the nature of family structures, the laws governing marriage and break ups in marriage for a specific country.
He noted loopholes in the registration, whereby only 13 per cent of the population have registered and obtain birth certificates. Such makes Tanzania to be the last country in East Africa to embark on CVRS.
A child protection expert with UNICEF, Bhaskar Mishra, saluted the government for the initiative taken on the policy that governs birth and death registration of people which is implemented by RITA.
Mishra expressed UNICEF’s commitment to continue supporting the country in reaching its goals in birth registration particularly on under five children.
“The first phase of its implementation started in regions, including Mbeya and Songwe and later rolled out in 13 regions, 98 districts, 1862 wards and 3,023 health centres whereby 3.6 million children were reached,” noted Mishra.