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Policy Makers to Convene on “Improving Civil Status Information and Vital Statistics Data”
Source: Economic Commission for Africa - ECA http://www.uneca.org/
Source Date: Thursday, July 22, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs
Country: Ethiopia
Created: Aug 12, 2010

Approximately 53 African Ministers responsible for civil registration will convene at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 13-14 August 2010 to address the need to improve civil status information and vital statistics data in Africa.

According to the organizers, the high-level ministerial conference theme, “Towards improving civil status information for efficient public administration and generation of vital statistics for national development and MDGs Monitoring in Africa” has been chosen with a view to reverse the deplorable state of civil status information in Africa.

“Most people in Africa are born and die without leaving a trace on any legal record or official statistics making it difficult for the public sector to manage and monitor its human capital,” says Dimitri Sanga, Officer-in-Charge of the African Centre for Statistics at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Despite efforts to improve efficiency in issuing national identification systems and passports, as well as services such as health and education, African governments remain challenged by the inadequate nature of such vital data as birth, death, marriage and divorce. “Incomplete vital statistics negatively affect development endeavors and make it difficult to measure and monitor development initiatives, including the Millennium Development Goals,” adds Mr. Sanga.

The Conference will be co-hosted by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and the Government of Ethiopia. In addition, a preparatory Expert Group Meeting will be convened on 10-12 August, to draft a resolution and make recommendations for discussion, input and endorsement by the Ministers during the conference.

It is expected that the deliberations will lead to the creation of a high-level regional platform for exchanging information on civil registration and vital statistics; create enhanced awareness and commitment of African governments in the development of these systems and endorse resolutions and recommendations that would lead and govern African civil registration and vital statistics systems for the coming years.

Background: The Civil Registration Conference stems from a recommendation made in June 2009 at a regional workshop on civil registration and vital statistics systems that took place in June 2009 in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. During that workshop, participants noted the lack of coordination at the regional level and the limited involvement and leadership of national governments in civil registration operations and management.

For more information on the conference: http://www.uneca.org/crmc/
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