Tanzania: Minister Launches Decentralisation Birth Registration System

THE Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Dr Augustine Mahiga, yesterday launched practical implementation of decentralisation birth registration system in Morogoro and Coast regions, calling upon the public to recognise the importance of the documents.

"As long as the certificates have the national emblem of Tanzania, let everybody know that they are original and official copies.

We currently face shortage of electronic devices in the new birth registration system, because registration keeps on increasing," he added.

Mr Mahiga noted that some institutions have been reluctant to accept birth certificates, which are not electronic, something that must not be the case.

However, he reminded parents to preserve the document safely, hinting that it would be possible to change them electronically in the near future.

The launched system mostly for under-five children was being implemented by the government through its Registration Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA) since 2013, in partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (U NICEF), Global Affairs Canada and Tigo Tanzania.

According to RITA Executive Officer (CEO), Ms Emmy Hudson so far about 15 regions (including Morogoro and Coast) have been reached covering nearly 4 million children.

She said that currently parents can get the birth certificates in any designated health facilities or through their Ward Executive Offices.

"And we have a plan to replicate this throughout Mainland Tanzania in the shortest possible time, and we are committed to ensuring that no child is left behind. With that in mind, we have taken steps and focus more on gender and equity starting with Morogoro and Coast regions," she said.

However, according to U NICEF Acting Representative in Tanzania, Mr Rene V an Dongen every child has the right to an identity, implying that such birth certificate is a vital record that every child should possess.

He said that every child has a right to be registered immediately after birth, and assigned a name and as well acquire nationality as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child that recently celebrated its 30 years.

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