Dar es Salaam. Tigo says it has helped to facilitate birth registration of more than 3.5 million children under the age of five years over the last six years.
This was done through an innovative mobile application developed by the company to support the government initiatives to provide birth certificates to all children.
The children were registered in 13 administratuve regions. In fact, the government’s target is to achieve 100 per cent registration and certification of under-five children in Tanzania by 2021.
“We have managed to register and provide birth certificates to more than 3 million children across Iringa, Njombe, Mbeya, Songwe, Mwanza, Geita, Shinyanga, Lindi, Mtwara, Mara and Simiyu regions since the beginning of the project in July,2012,” said Simon Karikari, the company’s managing director.
According to the Demographic Health Survey for 2010/2011, only 16 out of 100 children under five years of age possessed birth certificates.
The company says it deployed thousands of assistants equipped thousands of mobile phones to support registration processes.
“We actively continue to roll out this initiative to ensure that many more children under the age of five years are registered with civil authorities,” Mr Karikari said.
Apart from the developed App, Tigo also says it provides free smartphones, routers and data in this project for each region.
He said since March this year, the project was extended to three more regions namely Morogoro, Ruvuma and Pwani. The move helped the growth of number of children with birth certificates from 16 per cent in 2011 to currently 80 per cent.
Through this initiative, the company has partnered with Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA) and UNICEF in scaling up this project in various regions of Tanzania.
“Tigo is proud to be the sole telecommunication company partnering with Rita, Unicef and other stakeholders in order to make sure that every child birth in Tanzania does not go unaccounted for because identity is a basic right for every child,” he said.
“Through innovative mobile technology application, which ensures birth registration data are uploaded and sent to a central database at Rita in real-time,”
He said under-five birth registration initiative marked a significant shift in accelerating birth registration in Tanzania, after years of stagnation.