Coastweek website



AU urges importance of vital registrations in Africa for better future

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) on Friday urged its member states to effectively put in place civil registration and vital statistics systems so as to realize the continent’s ambitious Agenda 2063 that demands good governance and better future.

The pan African bloc made the call as the continent commemorated the first African Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Day under the theme “Promoting Innovative Universal Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems for Good Governance and Better Lives” on Friday.

African CRVS Day will be celebrated every year on the 10th of August, mainly to “increase public awareness of the importance of making all African people visible wherever they live, through well-functioning civil registration and vital statistics systems,” the AU said.

Even though most African countries have civil registration laws for systematically registering vital events, “very few countries have maintained a universal registration system that covers all vital events, including births, deaths and other vital events in between, and geographic areas of the country,” the AU indicated.

“Inadequate records system renders most of Africa’s poorest people invisible and marginalized. This, in turn, limits their access to socioeconomic benefits in their country,” the AU stressed.

The Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, also noted in a statement on Friday that “the continent cannot fulfill its dream of achieving Agenda 2063: “The Africa We Want,” unless we know who we are, how many we are, where we live, work and what we need to improve our living conditions.”

Faki further stressed the need to register every vital event and related statistics are collected, compiled, produced and disseminated in a regular and consistent manner, to guide policy and planning, inform decision-making processes, and track progress to ensure transparency and mutual accountability towards achieving Africa’s development agenda.

He also said that efficient civil registration systems in Africa contribute towards improved systems of governance, improved capacity for individuals to claim their human and civil rights, a better information base for African governments to deliver services, as well as improved capacities for monitoring human development efforts.

“This makes investment in the CRVS agenda not only timely, but a strategic imperative for the continent,” Faki said, adding that “CRVS should form an integral part of the regular and routine governance of a country, and it is primarily the responsibility of Governments to ensure that the necessary resources are in place to run it smoothly and effectively.”

In July 2016, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU declared 2017-2026 as the Decade for Repositioning Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Africa at continental, regional and national levels, and urged governments to respond with appropriate actions.

According to the AU, most countries in Africa had a civil registration system for decades, yet the system was not well-functioning due to the fact that it was not compulsory, universal and complete.

The use of modern Information Technology (IT) for CRVS system is minimal or non-existent, and where it exists, it is not interoperable with various government functions, such as national statistics, health care, identification management and electoral services, it was noted.

Noting awareness about the multi-sectoral importance of CRVS system for legal, administrative and statistical purposes is not adequate among the policy makers and the public at large, the AU urged its member states to take swift measures towards modernizing the sector. 



Remember: you read it first at !

Safi Ethanol Cooker


Please contact

MOMBASA - GULSHAN JIVRAJ, Mobile: 0722 775164 Tel: (+254) (41) 2230130 /
Wireless: 020 3549187 e-mail:

NAIROBI - ANJUM H. ASODIA, Mobile: 0733 775446 Tel: (+254) (020) 3744459

    © Coastweek Newspapers Limited               Tel: (+254) (41) 2230130  |  Wireless: 020 3549187  |  E-mail: