Civil Registration and Vital Statistics: Francophone Africa takes action

Yaounde, 6 November 2015 (APAI-CRVS Regional Support Group) – Experts and administrators from twenty Francophone countries have just finalised five days of proceedings on the improvement of civil registration and vital statistics with a promise to commit their respective governments to rapidly implement the Africa Programme on the Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (APAI-CRVS).

[Watch this report on the workshop ]

Organised by the Regional Support Group for the APAI-CRVS, made up of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the workshop served as a platform for discussions to encourage Francophone countries to catch up on the delay in this programme in comparison with other countries on the continent.

Addressing the experts and their guests during the opening ceremony of the workshop, Cameroon’s Minister Delegate in the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Mr. Jules Doret Ndongo, intimated that the APAI-CRVS programme “constitutes a unique opportunity, as it matches all the countries of the African continent which have agreed to move forward at the same pace”.

Before urging the experts to take the opportunity offered by the proceedings of the workshop to strengthen and enhance their knowledge, the Cameroonian Minister noted that the APAI-CRVS programme would help countries to resolve the problems of the civil registration system, notably:  insufficient qualified personnel and inadequate structures, documentary fraud, the irregular supply of registers for recording civil status as well as the poor conservation and archiving of registers and a certain indifference on the part of the people regarding civil registration.

The proceedings, characterised by discussions of the experiences of different countries, enabled the experts to agree on, among other things, the need to modernise systems of civil status registration and vital statistics in their respective countries through the strengthening of the coordination of all the national actors involved; the computerisation of the registration procedures and the issuing of certificates; and the harmonization, at the regional level, of new systems. With this perspective, the participants greatly appreciated the progress recorded by Mauritania in this area. They also fully appropriated the principles and recommendations of the United Nations in terms of civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS), the new tools and guides for conducting assessments of CRVS systems and the development of plans for improvement. Finally, the participants were broadly informed of better global practices in terms of CRVS management, with the presentation of the case of Slovenia.  

It should be remembered that this workshop forms part of the framework for the capacity strengthening of actors as recommended by the Third Conference of Ministers in charge of Civil Registration which was held in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire, in February 2015, under the theme, “promoting the use of civil registration and vital statistics in support of good governance in Africa”.


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