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Building resilient civil registration and vital statistics systems in Africa

Africa Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day is celebrated on 10 August every year, with the aim of increasing public awareness on the importance of the timely registration of vital events, particularly births and deaths, through well-functioning civil registration and vital statistics systems.

Africa Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day is a special day for Africans to celebrate their heritage, particularly with regard to the recognition of the legal identity from birth to death of all persons, and the affirmation of key human and civil rights, including the right to recognition under the law, the right to participate in society and the economy, and the right to access social services.

These rights and civil liberties are founded on and strengthened by well-functioning civil registration and vital statistics systems that are inclusive, permanent, continuous, compulsory and confidential in their nature. The concept of legal identity must be based on a life cycle approach in which the registration of an individual begins with the registration of their birth and closes with the registration of their death.

Recognizing the efforts being undertaken by African governments in that area, Africa Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day will be commemorated this year on 10 August 2021 under the theme, “Leadership for an essential service: Building resilient civil registration and vital statistics systems in Africa that provide innovative, integrated, and decentralized services for the postCOVID-19 period”.

On this day, African countries will advocate for effective leadership and strategies to transform and strengthen their civil registration and vital statistics systems. African countries will highlight the key role played by civil registration and vital statistics systems, which provide an essential service in facilitating the recognition of legal identity for all persons from birth to death and in providing key data to inform planning, policy, decision-making and good governance.

The demand for registration services remain weak because many people have no adequate awareness about the importance of civil registration for them and their families and the implications that this has for improving access to core government services. African CRVS Day observed every year on the 10th of August helps to improve public awareness of the importance of making everyone visible in Africa through universal birth registration and certification.