Comprehensive and complete CRVS systems crucial to Africa’s development, says ECA’s Chinganya

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 13, 2020 (ECA) – Civil registration and vital statistics systems are central to any country’s development process hence the need for every African country to maintain a comprehensive and complete CRVS system.

This was said by Oliver Chinganya, Director of the Africa Statistics Centre (ACS) at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) at the second consultative meeting on the CRVS assessment for Ethiopia held in Addis Ababa.

Mr. Chinganya said a holistic and integrated approach on civil registration, vital statistics and identity management helps to build a robust and sustainable legal identity system, prevents duplication of efforts, saves resources and time, and allows efficient public service delivery.

He appraised participants on the United Nations Legal Identity Agenda that is currently underway. The agenda was formulated to address the world’s scandal of invisibility where one billion people have no proof of legal identity, the majority of them in Africa. 

Ethiopia is one of the selected countries to pilot the agenda and will work with the ECA’s technical team and others from the UN Development System and other stakeholders in addressing challenges in the country’s CR, VS and ID systems.

“The fundamental principle of the agenda is that civil registration systems should serve as the basis for lifetime identification of individuals through universal recording of births and deaths that present entry into and exit from identity management system, respectively,” said Mr. Chinganya.

The main objective of the consultations is to identify ways to develop Ethiopia’s roadmap towards the development of a holistic approach to registration of all vital events, production of vital statistics, the establishment and maintenance of population registers and identity management apparatus from birth to death.

Mr. Chinganya assured participants “of the commitment of the ECA and the APAI-CRVS Secretariat to strengthen the CRVS and ID business improvement processes in Ethiopia as well as in ensuring that invisibility is completely addressed and that no one is left behind, and we achieve the vision of the Africa We want”.

The Africa Programme on Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (APAI-CRVS) Secretariat stands ready to provide technical support to Ethiopia as the nation undertakes the assessment, the ECA Director added.

He said well-functioning CRVS systems are crucial for creating inclusive societies, ensuring proper delivery of public services and protecting basic human rights.

“We are gathered here today with the common purpose of improving coverage rates for vital events through a well-functioning civil registration system. Let us acknowledge that the coverage rates are low, with birth registration standing at about 20 percent and all other vital events - death, marriage and divorce - at below 10 per cent,” said Mr. Chinganya.

This, he said, had necessitated the assessment that will assist in identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats through the analyses of the CRVS legislative framework, the organization and management of the CRVS systems, supply and demand factors and the adequacy of CRVS infrastructure and resources.

Recommendations on how to resolve the weaknesses and gaps identified will be articulated at the end.

The consultations will be held from 30 March to 3 April 2020.


Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826