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Nairobi, 20 October 2014: Jovago partners with UNICEF in support of scaling up birth registration and UNICEF have signed a partnership agreement with the aim of ensuring official birth registration of every child born in Africa. This partnership includes financial support of UNICEF’S Birth Registration Programme via ICT/mobile technology and staff participation in related project/supportive activities.

This partnership supports UNICEF’s “Passport to Protection” programme to advance child protection through the issuance of a Birth Certificates using ICT technology., a leading online hotel booking company will donate five dollars (5 USD), at no extra cost for the customer, for every booking made using “UNICEF” voucher code on the check-out page. The goal is to collect 100,000 USD during the 1st year of partnership. This partnership will support UNICEF’s vision to register every child.

The partnership will focus on African countries where Jovago is operational. Customers will be able to use the UNICEF code for any hotel booking made in the following countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Djibouti, Nigeria, Mali, Ivory Coast, Congo, Cameroon, Mozambique, Senegal, and Algeria.

With a staggering 50% of children under five years living anonymously in East and South Africa, the two parties are keen on this region, whose data rank them to a low of 1% official birth registration in some regions. Apart from bolstering birth registration, the programme is expected to launch long lasting corporate relationship and involvement between the two parties. Commenting on the initiative dubbed “A child’s passport to protection”, Jovago MD, Estelle Verdier Watine said “UNICEF’s birth registration programme is a fantastic initiative both in regards to its objective to give each child a passport to protection but also in regards to the implementation method which takes advantages of technology for more efficiency. We are very proud to support this initiative. ”

Being a travel company, Jovago has a major interest in ensuring that every African can move freely across the borders and beyond the continent without any hurdle. Apart from the inability to process passports, lack of birth certificate will deny the child a right to education, government grant, right to inheritance and deny them protection against child labor, recruitment to armed forces and early marriage. In broader spectrum, anonymous children may later in life be denied the right to vote and are also an impediment to government planning.

Millicom, an investor in Africa Internet Holding (AIH), which owns Jovago has already been supporting UNICEF birth registration campaigns. Till Behnke, the Millicom Foundation Executive Director, also commented: “In 2013 we successfully cooperated with UNICEF to register newborns in Tanzania. We are very happy that a company Millicom is invested in – Jovago - joins our efforts to repeat this success in further African countries.”

Leila Pakkala, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa further commented: “Registration is the ‘first right’ of any child, and I am delighted that this partnership – a partnership for children – will help provide this right to many.”

The Jovago-UNICEFF special code is found on home page, and advocates for the need to give a child a passport to protection. For every booking made using this code, a donation of USD 5 goes to support the initiative.

ABOUT JOVAGO is Africa’s leading online hotel booking portal. With a presence in 20 African countries, has direct partnership with over 9,500 hotels in Africa and over to 200,000 globally through a partnership with

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:


For more information, please contact:

Lillian Gaitho, PR
Mobile: +254 729 823 884 / 773 014 918

James Elder, Chief of Communication, Eastern and Southern Africa
Mobile: +254 715 581 222



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