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Dlamini-Zuma to attend civil registration conference
Source: Channel Africa http://www.channelafrica.org/portal/site/ChannelAfrica/menuitem.0440eb803775db47ee41ee41674daeb9/?vgnextoid=150ea6558c06a210VgnVCM10000077d4ea9bRCRD&vgnextfmt=default
Source Date: Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Aug 12, 2010

South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will attend a civil registration conference in Ethiopia with other African ministers this week, her office said on Wednesday.

Civil registration is the term used to describe the records governments keep of the births and deaths of the people who live in their country, which they use for planning for services they have to provide, such as health.

The delegates plan to develop a proposal for a continental medium-term regional civil registration and vital statistical plan which they hope will be adopted by the African Union (AU).

The theme of the conference centres on efficient public administration and the generation of statistics that can be used for development and monitoring progress towards the millennium development goals in Africa.

These goals are targets that have been set in terms of the provision of essential services such as clean water, education and health, to the poorest people in the world, by 2015.

According to the World Health Organisation, civil registration has evolved over three centuries from church registries to national databases in developed countries such as France and the United Kingdom. South Africa is cited as one of the countries which has developed a functional system over a few decades, alongside Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Being registered is an essential factor in being able to do simple things like marries. In some countries people are not obliged to register births or deaths, and if these facilities exist, they only exist in cities, making it difficult for people in rural areas to register.

Before the conference starts, a group of experts from the continent will meet until Thursday, August 12, to gather recommendations that will be put to the conference itself, which starts on Friday, for discussion and ratification. The things they will talk about include legal, administrative and statistical purposes and functions of civil registration and vital statistics system; management and operations of civil registration; generation and use of health and demographic statistics; and challenges and opportunities for improved civil registration. They will also cover the importance of causes of death recording, compilation; processing and preparation of national causes of death classification; and resource requirements and administration for civil registration.

The conference was convened by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank and the AU.
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