Botswana will tomorrow, 10 August, join the rest of the African continent in commemorating civil registration and vital statistics day.

The Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs has stated that it will sensitise the public about the importance of civil registration and vital statistics as a way of promoting universal and timely registration.

Civil registration and vital statistics includes recordings of births, deaths and their causes, marriages and divorces of citizens and residents.

“The Ministry would like to highlight that absence of reliable data for births, deaths and cause of deaths leave no traces of the existence of the citizenry and as a result expose them to be victims of exploitation and human rights violations,” the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Temba Mmusi has stated.

He further added that in fact “availability of vital statistics also remains at the forefront of the country’s priorities as their registration supports and informs proper planning for social and economic development.”

The day which will be commemorated under the theme, “promoting innovative universal civil registration and vital statistics system for good governance and better lives” was declared during the fourth conference of African Ministers’ responsible for civil registration which was held in December last year in Ethiopia.

According to Mmusi reliable and timely civil registration from a well functioning system is instrumental to monitoring the progress on several targets of the agenda 2013 and the agenda 2063 that are related to health, food security. clean water, education, migration and gender.

“Vital statistics from civil registration systems provide up to date and accurate population based disaggregated by sex, age and geographic location is essential for identifying vulnerable groups at risk of being left behind in development process,” Mmusi added.

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