Namibia commemorates civil registration and vital statistics day

Namibia on Thursday joined other African states in commemorating Africa Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Day.

This year’s theme, according to the Executive Director of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security Etienne Maritz, is ‘The potential to increase coverage, improve quality and timeliness of data through digitalisation of civil registration systems’.

Maritz said Africa Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day was endorsed by the 32nd ordinary session of the African Union Executive Committee in 2018.

“It marked a strong commitment to and recognition of the importance of investing in universal CRVS systems and ensured that all citizens have critical national documents that guarantee protection, can facilitate social access and ensure they fulfil their rights and obligations as citizens. The continuous, permanent, compulsory and universal recording of the occurrence and characteristics of vital events such as births, deaths, foetal deaths, marriages and divorces and other civil status events is critical for protecting basic human rights and promoting social inclusion,” Maritz said.

It empowers individuals with proof of age, identity and family relationships. Identity documents in turn ensure that individuals can access basic public services such as health and education, exercise economic and political rights such as opening a bank account and voting, claim inheritance, spousal pension rights or insurance benefits, he added.

He maintained that strong CRVS systems facilitate good governance and generate critical data important for public policy planning including service delivery, service provision as well as injury, diseases and death prevention.

Maritz urged African countries to advance the digitisation of civil registration data as part of the critical digital infrastructure to promote the interlinkage and use of civil registration and vital statistics data and identification data across government agencies.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency