1 The fifth African Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day will be commemorated on August 10, 2022, during the twelfth year since the establishment of the African Program on the Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems, a continental framework designed to provide coordinated and integrated support to African countries in strengthening their civil registration and vital statistics systems.
2 Commendation is due to the visionary leaders who attended the first Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Civil Registration, which was held in Addis Ababa in 2010 and led to the establishment of the Africa Agenda.
3 On that occasion, African ministers identified the lack of coordinated leadership at the regional and national levels as one of the bottlenecks limiting the development of civil registration and vital statistics systems in Africa.
4 In response, one of the guiding principles established for the Africa Program was to promote country ownership and leadership of such systems.
5 Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day was proclaimed on August 10 by the Executive Council of the African Union at its thirty-second ordinary session, held in Addis Ababa on January 25 and 26, 2018, as a vehicle to improve the promoting the importance of civil registration.
6 and vital statistics systems for the growth of the continent.
7 It is an occasion to express support for national and regional commitments to strengthen such systems and increase stakeholder coordination to maximize available resources in that area.
8 Furthermore, it is the day that African countries reaffirm their commitment to take leadership and ownership in strengthening their civil registration and vital statistics systems.
10 The pandemic highlighted the importance of timely and reliable vital event data, and the critical role civil registration and vital statistics systems play in ensuring that everyone is counted for inclusive access to vaccination, health care, social protection and other government services.
12 The 2022 commemoration will be held under the theme “Leveraging coordination, national leadership, and ownership to strengthen integrated civil registration and vital statistics systems: a vehicle to #CountAll.” The theme highlights the need for sustained political commitment at the country level, with African governments taking leadership and ownership in strengthening their respective civil registration and vital statistics systems.
13 The theme was inspired by the need to provide leadership in the transformation of civil registration systems.
14 Change management is necessary because civil registration offices cannot continue to function as usual, relying on slow, passive and reactive systems that rely on personal participation.
15 African countries must build systems that are dynamic, interoperable, resilient, proactive and agile.
16 It is also imperative that they invest substantial public resources in transforming their systems to make them more technically and financially accessible to the population and, in doing so, minimize the perceived scandal of invisibility on the continent.
17 The theme also highlights the need for everyone to be visible in Africa, as envisioned in the costed strategic plan of the Africa Program for the Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics for the period 2017-2021.
18 Civil registration and vital statistics systems confer legal identity on individuals and provide information on good governance, the protection of human rights and the creation of inclusive societies.
19 Civil registration increases the credibility of national and local governments, improving their ability to deliver social services by helping to identify what services are needed, where, and by whom.
20 Yet millions of people around the world live without the rights, protections, and benefits of having a legal identity, and die without having any proof of existence.
21 Well-coordinated civil registration and vital statistics systems benefit all people while informing public policy.
22 Leadership, along with advances in systems thinking, demographic analysis, and digital technologies, are key pillars for improving these systems, which are the foundation of the digital public infrastructure that many countries are putting in place.
23 On Africa Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day, 10 August 2022, African government leaders are encouraged to: (a) Establish or maintain inter-agency coordination committees that regularly convene all relevant stakeholders in the civil registration and vital statistics system and the identification system to strengthen and promote such systems and the use of their data in all government services; (b) Establish links between civil registration and vital statistics systems and other systems, such as identification, health and social protection management systems, which are critical entry points for civil registration and vital statistics, as linkages can also contribute to increasing the demand for civil services.
24 registration and vital statistics if integrated systems are established or if a separate entry point could be created; (c) Advance the digitization of civil registration data as part of the essential digital public infrastructure to promote the interconnection and use of civil registration data and vital statistics and identification data in all government agencies; d) Strengthen the legal and regulatory framework governing civil registration and vital statistics systems and identification systems to ensure inclusiveness and universality, promote greater intergovernmental collaboration and facilitate the use of civil registration and vital statistics data in the different government sectors; e) Increase the availability of timely and policy-relevant civil registration and vital statistics data, including causes of death, for use in improving policy-making and service delivery across government, including emergency services.
25 health and social protection; (f) Raise awareness in the community about the importance of registering vital events and how registration benefits families, communities and countries, and engage communities to increase the demand for registration of each vital event.
26 The sixth Conference of Ministers Responsible for Civil Registration will be held in Addis Ababa from 24 to 28 October 2022.
27 Consequently, the leadership roles of ministers must be affirmed to ensure the political commitment of their governments at the highest level.
29 This will play an essential role in ensuring that relevant government stakeholders effectively assume their roles and responsibilities, and unite around a single comprehensive national multi-sectoral civil registration and vital statistics strategy.
30 It is imperative that all levels of government participate in the process of building political commitment and developing a comprehensive national multisectoral civil registration and vital statistics strategy.