- The Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (Rita), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef), Tigo and Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) have partnered to spearhead the campaign that targets to register more than 650,000 children aged less than five years in both regions.
Geita. A mobile birth registration campaign in Geita and Shinyanga regions has received a shot in the arm from Tigo Tanzania, whereby the mobile telecom company has provided 1,200 mobile phones worth more than Sh113 million for use by registration assistants.
The Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (Rita), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef), Tigo and Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) have partnered to spearhead the campaign that targets to register more than 650,000 children aged less than five years in both regions.
The minister of Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Dr Harrison George Mwakyembe, graced the launch of the campaign at Kalangala Grounds in Geita yesterday.
According to the government, the registration drive will reduce a backlog of unregistered children and establish a permanent system of registering all new births in the two regions.
A total of 598 registration points have been set aside for the campaign along with 1,300 registration assistants to support the project.
According to the Tanzania Demographics Survey, 2010, only 16 per cent of children under the age of five have been registered by the civil authorities in Tanzania.
Speaking during the launch, Tigo Lake Zone director Ally Maswanya said the company had developed an innovative mobile application system that had so far accelerated the registration of children under the age of five, who had not been registered before in Mwanza, Mbeya, Songwe, Iringa, and Njombe regions. “Our digital civil registration system has facilitated the registration of more than 830,000 children in the five regions,” Mr Maswanya said, adding that through digital initiatives such as mobile birth registration, Tigo sought to build a strong societal ecosystem that would bring about the promise of technology in communities in which the company operated.
He explained that the telecom firm had championed many initiatives, including bridging the mobile phone ownership gap among women, improving connectivity to public schools by providing access to reliable Internet and now through enhancing birth registration by using mobile phones.
For her part, Rita acting chief executive officer Emmy Hudson said the decentralised system marked a significant shift in accelerating birth registration in Mainland Tanzania after years of stagnation.
“We are transforming the system to make it easier for children and their families to access the entitlement of a birth certificate,” she said .