31 January 2018

Ghana: Births and Deaths Registry to Comply With Names Decided On By Parents

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press release

The Acting Registrar of Births and Deaths Registry has been directed to accept names such as Nana, Papa, among others, as given by parents for registration.

The Registry, which is a Department under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, is further directed to review its Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which is a body of written instructions issued for guidance of staff and field workers of the Registry.

The directive follows concerns raised by parents on the registration of names, particularly names which begin with prefixes and titles.

Responding to the agitations on the floor of Parliament on the issue, the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, explained that the Registration of Births and Deaths Regulations, 1979, LI 653 provided prescribed particulars for Birth report form in the schedule and also directs the Registrar of Births and Deaths to develop an instruction manual to the staff of Registries for their guidance in making entries in the Register of Births and Deaths and in the completion of forms.

Hajia Mahama said the current version of the SOP launched in July 2009 provided specific instructions on what to capture in the registration of the name of a child under chapter 3.

"Section 3 (3) of the SOP deals with particulars of the child and states that titles such as Reverend, Alhaji, Dr., Colonel, Nana, Jnr. and Snr., among others, should not be added names.

However, she said, the Ministry would soon bring a bill to Parliament on the Registration of Births and Deaths which would address some of the controversies and to reflect and accommodate present trends and societal developments.

The Members of Parliament applauded the directive to the Births and Deaths Registry to reverse the decision to ban the registration of certain names and advised that the SOP should not be left in isolation but integrated to form a part of the subsidiary legislation.

The MPs further encouraged Ghanaians to add traditional names to their names to maintain local identities.

Source: ISD (Eva Frempon-Ntiamoah)

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