PLANS are underway to electronically register and issue birth certificates to over 15 million Tanzanians by the year 2025 through the Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA), the National Assembly was told yesterday.
Tanzania’s Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Dr Augustine Mahiga, told parliamentarians here that through the arrangement, the government seeks to issue birth certificates to 15,917,602 Tanzanians by the year 2025.
Dr Mahiga, a veteran diplomat, made the remarks when reacting to a basic question by Special Seats MP, Ms Fatma Toufiq (CCM), who had challenged the government to explain how it was prepared to issue birth certificates to Tanzanians of all ages.
Through the electronic system, Dr Mahiga said RITA is expected to increase the number of registration for children under five years old and as well as reduce by 50 per cent the number of Tanzanians who do not have birth certificates to 21,508,277.
In her question, Ms Toufiq wanted to know strategies by the government to register and issue birth certificates to Tanzanians, especially adults. She said despite ongoing campaign to register underfive children, there are still a good number of citizens with no birth certificates.
“It is high time the government explained how it is prepared to register and issue birth certificates to Tanzanians, especially those aged five years and above”, she stated.
Responding to the question, Dr Mahiga said the online registration will ensure many Tanzanians get the document since the procedures will be simplified.
He said eligible Tanzanians will submit their applications online and later visit RITA offices for completion of remained procedures.
The minister called upon Tanzanians who do not have birth certificates to visit RITA offices for registration, stressing that it is the right of every citizen to have the certificate.
“We need to sensitise people on the importance of having birth certificates. Legislators play a crucial role in sensitising Tanzanians to register with RITA,” he said.
According to him, the government, through RITA , has been implementing strategies to ensure many Tanzanians are registered in order to improve the country’s statistics.
“We are implementing a programme (decentralised birth registration system) which includes registration of children below five years through a special arrangement.
Through RITA, we also conduct campaigns at various residential areas to sensitise people to register,” he explained.
Dr Mahiga explained further that during the launching of the decentralised registration system in March, this year, the government introduced registration points at health facilities which provide reproductive and children health services as well as community and ward executive offices across the country.
The initiative is undertaken jointly between the governments of Tanzania and Canada as well as the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF), covering 13 regions, namely Dodoma, Singida, Lindi, Mtwara, Geita, Shinyanga, Mbeya, Songwe, Mwanza, Iringa, Njombe, Mara and Simiyu