MORE than three million children under five years of age have been registered and given birth certificates in 11 regions across the country, the Registration Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA) said yesterday.
The children were registered between 2013 and 2018 under an under-five birthday registration strategy initiated by the government to increase significantly the proportion of under-five children with birth certificates as well as set out an efficient and effective registration system in Mainland Tanzania.
The programme is implemented by the government in partnership with Unicef, Tigo and funds from the Canadian government.
Speaking during the launch of the strategy for Singida and Dodoma regions, Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Dr Augustine Mahiga, asked RITA to ensure proper storage of statistics for the registered children and hand them to the government whenever needed.
"Registration is a oneside process and storage of statistics. You should make sure they are well stored and availed to the government whenever needed," he said.
The minister also asked RITA and other servants involved in the programme to ensure children were registered and given birth certificates even after the end of the programme.
He commended RITA and partners for efficient implementation of the programme. According to RITA Acting Executive Emmy Hudson, the initiative has been implemented in Mara, Simiyu, Lindi, Mtwara, Geita, Shinyanga, Mbeya, Songwe, Mwanza, Iringa, Njombe, Dodoma and Singida.
According to Ms Hudson, the regions have been covered in phase I. Phase II will start in the next financial year.
On the other hand, Unicef Representative Maniza Zaman reaffirmed that they would continue supporting the government to register and issue certificates to all children.
"Today's launch is an important step in making registration of births accessible and affordable for more children in Tanzania," she said. She urged parents, religious leaders, local and political leaders, and others to join hands in securing the first legal right to identity of these children.