Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)’s Chinganya briefs VP Wina on state of CRVS in Africa

By Winston Mwale

Africa, which is home to 1.3 billion people, is faced with a critical legal identity gap

Africa has made impressive progress in its efforts to revitalise its civil registration and vital statistics systems (CRVS), Oliver Chinganya, the Director of Statistics at the Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) African Centre for Statistics, told Zambia’s Vice President, Inonge Mutukwa Wina, in a briefing on the state of CRVS on the continent.

Mr. Chinganya, who has been instrumental in leading ECA efforts towards the hosting of the fifth African Ministers responsible for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics, said the level of development of CRVS systems in Africa had also improved a lot in the past few years.

He said the continent needs to tap into the success registered so far to continue modernizing and building a comprehensive civil registration and vital statistics system in Africa.

The VP was also briefed on the conference which deliberated on the theme “Innovative Civil Registration and Vital Statistics systems as a foundation for legal identity management”.

Africa, which is home to 1.3 billion people, is faced with a critical legal identity gap, whereby many exist without being known to their governments and without any means to prove who they are. 

“To lack a legal identity means that you do not exist at all in the eyes of the state, making it very difficult for the authorities to plan. Progress is being made but we also still have a lot of work to do,” said the Statistics Director.

In her remarks to the conference later, the VP Wina said it must be appreciated that this year’s conference had brought together ministers responsible for CRVS, national identity, health and information technology.

“Indeed, this shows a realization that providing legal identity for all cuts across several sectors,” she said.

VP Wina added; “As we celebrate the positive steps we are taking, this is the time to work with greater determination”.