Yamoussoukro, 9 February 2015 (ECA–AUC) - The Experts meeting that kicked off today 9 February 2015 at the Fondation Houphouet-Boigny pour la recherche et la Paix in Yamoussoukro, Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, will focus on the theme: “ Promoting the use of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in support of Good Governance in Africa”, ahead of the Conference of African Ministers responsible for civil registration scheduled for Thursday 12 February 2015. The opening ceremony took place in the presence of the Mayor of the city of Yamoussoukro, the Prefet of the locality, representatives from the African Development Bank (AfDB), African Union Commission (AUC), Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and other partner organizations.
Adressing the experts at the opening ceremony, Dr. Rene Nguetia Kouassi, Director of Economic Affairs of the African Union (AUC) underlined the importance of this conference for the future of our continent.
He recalled that this meeting is a milestone event organised fully under the hospices of the AU and that Yamoussoukro is hosting the third ministerial conference on Civil Registration and Vital Staticstics (CRVS) as a followup of the 2nd ministerial conference held in 2012 in Durban, South Africa and the first ministerial conference held in 2010 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the ministers decided to ensure that the countries adopt good systems and policies of CRVS so as to significantly contribute to the full implementation of the AU Agenda 2063. Cote d’Ivoire was showcased as a good example of a country well advanced in this practice to be emulated by other African countries.
Dr. Kouassi underlined that the registration of death, mariages, birth. Amomng others is very important to provide data in order to allow for inclusive growth in national policies. Therefore the urgent need for all African countries to adopt viable and harmonised civil registration systems. “ Human beings are at the beginning and at the end of any devlopment process of their country especially as Africa has to be in perfect control of the growth of its population in view of Agenda 2063 “, he noted. “ the Commission is ready to play its role so that Africa do not lag behind in this process”, he added.
Dr. Kouassi further highlighted the necessity for the continent to consider statistics in order to include everybody in the development process, especially in this turning point marked by the recent adoption of the Agenda 2063 by the 24th AU Summit which is a new policy framework for the emergence of Africa. “Through Civil registration, Africa will be able to plan the future of its citizens and address adequately their preoccupations” he emphasised. (See complete speech of Dr. Kouassi on the AU s, website: www.au.int).
Mr. Chukwudozie Ezigbalike, Acting Director of the African Center for Statistics, ECA, noted that even though some African experts have been trained on statistics and data development, there are still challenges to sustain this activity in Africa. “Over many decades the CRVS was negleted but now under the data revolution and the data ecosystem it is imperative to make sure that no one is left behind.” The representative of ECA underlined that some years ago, the issue of Civil registration was not a priority for the majority of African countries. However, since the meeting of Dar Es Salam in 2009, civil registration became one of the core elements the continent should consider to ensure the success of African development policies in statistics. “In that regards, ECA in collaboration with the AUC created a core group to review the CRVS systems in the continent and trained many African experts. “, he concluded.
In the same vein, the ADB representative, Mr. Charles Leyeka Lufumpa, Director, Statistics Department, stressed on the importance of the 3rd Yamoussoukro Conference which is essential in the promotion and the consolidation of CRVS systems. “To be more efficient, new technologies as well as gender perspective, and the collective action of different stakeholders should reinforce the battle against the scandal of invisibility in Africa”, he said. ‘For this to be possible, “CRVS needs to be mainstreamed in the national development strategy of statistics.”, he added.
The Representative of the Ivorian government, Mr. Cheick Bamba Daniel, Permanent Secretary of State at the Interior Ministry of Cote d’Ivoire on his part declared that civil registration is a central parameter for Africa. “Its role in the definition of the identity of individuals is obvious and it is a key step towards the realisation of their social, economic, political and human rights’, he said. Mr. Bamba called on the participants to exchange views that will enable a good stock taking of the various existing civil registration systems so as to propose recommendations under the theme of Yamoussoukro conference, while suggesting ways for of resource mobilisation for implementation.
The outcome of the experts meeting will be presented to the third Conference of Ministers responsible of civil registration that will take place from 12-13 February 2015 for consideration and adoption.
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