Experts Group Meeting of African Registrar Generals - November 2021


Date: 15/12/2021

Recognizing the multi-sectoral importance of CRVS systems, a forum of African Registrar Generals was created to deliberate on how to make strategic changes to take the regional CRVS improvement initiative to achieve the international targets.

The meeting was held in a hybrid format allowing country delegates to participate both physically and electronically via a zoom platform. The Registrar Generals of thirty-two countries participated physically while eight other Registrar Generals accompanied by their technical experts participated virtually. The meeting was marked by the sharing of important lessons learned and access to existing resources and tools by key partners - AUC, UNICEF, WHO, Vital Strategies and others. The devastating impact of COVID-19 across the countries has severely affected the regular convening of the Registrar Generals. However, a meeting of Registrar Generals was held in Kigali-Rwanda from November 23-26, 2021, to discuss how to rebuild the CRVS systems after the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide an opportunity to draw information to guide the development of the second phase of the APAI-CRVS strategic plan, whose first phase ends in 2021. In addition, the meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss priority issues to be addressed at the Sixth Conference of Ministers of Civil Registration, which has been rescheduled to be held in Maputo, Mozambique, in October 2022.

The African Union Commission presented the progress made in the implementation of the item 5 (Establishment of a Sub-Committee on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics within the African Union Specialized Technical Committee, in accordance with existing rules and regulations) of the Nouakchott Declaration. The Registrar Generals commended the work undertaken by the AUC to implement the declaration. However, it was suggested to maintain the momentum initiated within the framework of the APAI-CRVS to create a regular forum at the technical level of the Registrar Generals in order to ensure complementarity with the sub-committee that will be created within the framework of the Specialized Technical Committee of the African Union.

The meeting, which was opened and closed by members of the Rwandan government cabinet, adopted the following recommendations:

  • Call on African governments to increase public funding for civil registration and accelerate progress in the development of CRVS systems;
  • Strengthen mechanisms for monitoring the progress of civil registration and vital statistics systems improvement in order to make relevant data available to ECA within an agreed timeframe;
  • Emphasize the importance of  registrar generals in setting the agenda of the 6th Conference of Ministers in charge of civil registration, especially as technical experts involved in the day-to-day operation of CRVS systems;
  • Establish a centre of excellence for CRVS systems and a CRVS training school to ensure the training of professionals in service on the continent;
  • Maintain and formalize the platform of Registrars General created within the framework of APAI-CRVS to support and complement the work begun by the AUC Commission in implementing the Nouakchott Declaration.

The ECA APAI-CRVS Secretariat will follow up with countries on the implementation of the meeting's recommendations