The Fourth Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Civil Registry took place in Nouakchott, Mauritania. The Principal Investigator of Jembi/UEM-mOASIS, Prof. Dr. José Leopoldo Nhampossa participated in this important meeting of leaders and experts as a member of the technical group of the delegation of the Government of Mozambique. The theme of the conference was: “Accelerating a coordinated improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) for implementation and monitoring development in Africa: Review of progress and the way forward”.
Maputo, Mozambique – February 2018 – With the decision of the Government of Mozambique to introduce the Unique Citizen ID Number and intending to learn and collect experiences and consensus at the regional, continental and international level to provide appropriate technical assistance in Mozambique, Jembi/UEM-mOASIS was represented by Prof. José Leopoldo Nhampossa at the conference. In Mozambique, there are currently several records that contain citizen data such as identity card, driving license, civil registry, passport, taxpayer card (NUIT), each with its own number to identify the same Mozambican, which generates problems and a lot of bureaucracy.
“Our Participation at the conference allowed us to learn that adoption of the unique citizen identification number should not be seen as a luxury of developed countries, but rather as an important opportunity to reduce bureaucracy, improve and streamline citizen services, and catapult the country’s economic development”, said Professor Nhampossa. We learned that the unique citizen identification number must be created when the citizen’s birth or naturalization is registered and can only be deactivated in the event of the citizen’s death.
An important lesson also learned from participating in the conference and the different working groups was that with the adoption of the Unique ID Number, it is possible to issue a Unique ID Card. It is a card with the potential to reduce the number of identification cards necessary for the citizen to present himself before state institutions. This same card may include a chip capable of storing encrypted personal data and ensures the privacy of such data, so that part of the citizen’s data (eg. medical) is not read for example by Finance officials; and that an entity only really sees what matters, in order to avoid any excesses of power or prejudice or infringe the privacy of the citizen.
The Conference of Ministers provided a unique opportunity to build collaborative relationships among institutions and experts, share information and experiences within the greater community of prominent players in the field as well as to jointly re-align strategies for the betterment of the APAI-CRVS interventions. The forum made it clear that there is a need for more inter-sectorial coordination, including governments and the donor community to strengthen CRVS efforts. Jembi/UEM-mOASIS along with the Mozambique delegation led by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs participated in the deliberations sharing CRVS experiences in Mozambique as a means to seek solutions to help take APAI-CRVS to “the next level of maturity’ as aimed by the forum.
“This project is possible thanks to a partnership between Mozambique and the American people through funding from PEPFAR – CDC”.