Task force meeting on Committee of African Registrars General set for Victoria Falls

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Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, October 16, 2017 (ECA) – A task force meeting on the establishment of the Committee of African Registrars General begins Tuesday in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Speaking ahead of the four-day meeting, Oliver Chinganya, Director of the African Centre for Statistics at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said the establishment of an intergovernmental body to change the civil registration and vital statistics landscape in Africa will have many benefits.

“Such a committee would ensure that Africa has a common voice and position in determining civil registration issues and that government officials would work with other key stakeholders in addressing common challenges,” he said.

Mr. Chinganya said Africa must do more to achieve its “Everyone visible in Africa” vision hence efforts to establish the Committee of African Registrars General to take stock and add impetus to process.

The committee, working with the Africa Programme for Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System, would ensure the implementation of recommendations of the Conference of Ministers responsible for Civil Registration; and advise on the strategic direction of the work of Pan-African organizations on the development of civil registration and vital statistics systems and the implementation of related activities on the continent.

The Conference of Ministers provides policy directions to the Africa Programme or Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics initiative which is being implemented through its secretariat in the ECA’s African Centre for Statistics.

Mr. Chinganya said the committee will also serve as a forum to discuss new innovations, technologies and emerging issues, said Mr. Chinganya.

“There’s need for an intergovernmental process to sustain the momentum and accelerate progress in the development of civil registration and vital statistics in a bid to strengthen and support the work of the Conference of Ministers,” said the ACS Director.

Mr. Chinganya said it has been seven years since Africa began to write its own chapter on the improvement of civil registration and vital statistics systems culminating in the process to establish the Committee of African Registrars General.

African countries embarked on the journey to improve these systems in 2010 at a meeting that institutionalized the Conference of Ministers responsible for Civil Registration as a specialized technical committee of the African Union Commission with a mandate to report to Heads of State and Government every two years on progress in the area of civil registration and vital statistics.

The Committee of African Registrars General will also ensure that Africa has a common voice and position in determining civil registration issues and that government officials work with other key stakeholders in addressing common challenges.

The committee will also ensure recommendations of the Conference of Ministers are implemented and advise on the strategic direction of the work of Pan-African organizations on the development of civil registration and vital statistics systems and related activities.

The committee will also deal with the development of national and continental civil registration, methodological issues and the coordination and integration of the African civil registration and vital statistics systems, and support technical cooperation activities related to civil registration organizational matters, among others.

It is also intended to provide strategic support to the Conference of Ministers and the work of African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the ECA on the development of civil registration systems in Africa.