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Zimbabwe Minister hails proposed Commission of African Registrars General

The proposed Commission of African Registrars General is a welcome development that will ensure the advancement of Africa's civil registration agenda, Zimbabwe's Home Affairs Minister, Obert Mpofu, said Friday.

Speaking at the end of a meeting that brought together African Registrars General to deliberate on how to improve civil registration as part of implementing the civil registration and vital statistics process on the continent, Mr. Mpofu said Africa is lagging behind in civil registration coverage and completeness, adding the commission will help make a difference.

"The effect of this lethargic approach has serious consequences on the African population where underdevelopments are being experienced," he said.

Mr. Mpofu said in the same vein, the proposed establishment of a bureau of conference of African Ministers responsible for civil registration would enhance the effectiveness of decision making for the ministers and ensure the continuity of advancing the continent's civil registration agenda.

"This is a momentous event where African member States are putting their minds together to chart for themselves, a way forward to improve the visibility and viability of civil registration," he said.

"It is my sincere hope that my colleagues will not have reservations in accepting and adopting these recommendations."

The establishment of a Commission of African Registrar Generals to oversee the effective implementations of resolutions and improvements to vital civil registration systems was long overdue, said Mr. Mpofu said.

He said the Commission would be handy in providing advisory services to the council of Ministers responsible for vital civil registrations.

"As an African continent we still have a long way of ensuring that every person in Africa is visible. Record has it that there are some African countries that are still lagging behind with regards to vital civil registrations. Vital civil registration is emerging as an essential underpinning of the 2030 Development Agenda. It is our responsibility as member states to assist and support each other so that we all have sound vital civil registration systems in place," the Minister said.

He added the establishment of these civil systems would provide an easy route for those in statistics to collect that crucial data on the continent.

Mr. Mpofu said civil registration systems must account for every child being born and for every person in any given country on the continent. This, he said, will facilitate the creation of a population data base which countries must take pride to protect and preserve.

"I therefore hope that you had fruitful discussions culminating in the decisions you have made. These decisions are not for you. They are for Africa and Africa will always remain thankful to you for your time and efforts," Mr. Mpofu told Africa's Registrars General in closing remarks to the meeting that was dubbed historic for bringing the men and women responsible for the continent's civil registration processes together for the first time.

The proposed Commission of African Registrars General will be presented at the 4th conference of ministers responsible for civil registration and vital statistics that will be held December 6-8, 2017 in Mauritania.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
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