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Launch of Ghana’s new automated birth registration system; making registration of children smart, quick and reliable

ACCRA, 4 May, 2016- Today the Births and Deaths Registry of the Government of Ghana, Tigo and UNICEF Ghana officially launched a new, automated birth registration system. This new system has the potential of revolutionizing the registration of new born babies making it quick and easy for parents to obtain a birth certificate with correct information. For the Government, the new system offers a more robust and cost effective system as it transfers the information about the birth automatically from the site of registration to a central data base in Accra.

In Ghana, more than 4 in 10 children are not registered at birth. And even when children are registered, many are still lacking a birth certificate. About 15% of the registered children below the age of five do not have a birth certificate. Children who are not registered at birth or without identification documents are at risk of being excluded from accessing education, health care and other basic services. These children are at higher risk of exploitative forms of child labour, trafficking and child marriage. When children are separated from their families, reuniting them and determining their right age is more difficult as a result of the lack of official documentation.

“Birth registration is more than just a right. It is how a society first recognizes and acknowledges a child’s identity and existence,” said Rushnan Murtaza, UNICEF Ghana Deputy Representative. “Birth registration is also key to guaranteeing that children are not forgotten, denied their rights or hidden from the progress of their nations.”

Birth registration rates in Ghana has stagnated over the past few years, consistently leaving out about 35% of all new-born babies. The new automated birth registration system’s use of technology is addressing this challenge by making the system more efficient, effective, and cost-effective.

“Birth registration and a birth certificate are vital documents that give a child an identity and a sense of belonging” said Mr. John Agbeko, Registrar of the Births and Deaths Registry. Birth registration is an essential component of a country’s civil registry, it strengthens the quality of vital statistics, aids planning and improves government efficiency.

In order to enable every child’s right to an identity and belonging the Birth and Deaths Registry, Millicom Ghana Limited and UNICEF Ghana are partnering to roll-out an automated birth registration system in Ghana today. The partnership involves support for equipment, supplies and technical support that will enable the Births and Deaths Registry to transition from the current manual registration system to a modern, automated system.

“The ultimate outcomes for children are clear: the elimination of lengthy, ineffective, manual birth registration procedures replaced by a quicker, smarter and more efficient birth registration process”, said the CEO for Tigo Ghana Limited. “It will also help oversee the entire country’s birth registration performance by introducing real-time performance monitoring.”

Ultimately, the use of technology for birth registration will form a strong foundation and give legal identity and protection to Ghana’s future generation.

 

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About UNICEF

UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: https://www.unicef.org/

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About Tigo Ghana:

Tigo started operations in Ghana in 1992 as the first Mobile Network Operator. It is part of Millicom International Cellular (MIC) which provides mobile, voice, data, cable television, broadband and financial services to over 50 million customers in 13 emerging markets in Africa and Latin America. In Ghana it was launched under the name Mobitel and has since been operating for 24 years with a current subscriber base of over 5 million subscribers, representing 13.87% market share. In 2002 it was rebranded to ‘Buzz’, and in 2006 it rebranded as ‘Tigo’ to reflect the standard brand name within the Millicom Group. Today it is a dynamic and highly visible brand, continuously active in driving digital inclusion among the youth in Ghana. It launched Tigo Cash in 2011 and has successfully brought banking to the unbanked. Tigo Cash is popular among the informal sector and populations in the hinterlands. It is renowned for its quick, safe and convenient service. In 2015 Tigo made significant strides in enhancing its brand value. This is evidenced by various awards received, a total of 11 local and international awards including CEO of the Year at the prestigious AfricaCom Awards in Cape Town.

For more information, visit www.tigo.com.gh

 

For further information, please contact:

Monica Arach, External Relations and Fundraising Specialist

+233244334996, marach@unicef.org

Innocent Kafembe, Communication Officer (Tamale)

+233553004217, ikafembe@unicef.org

Michael Bruce Millicom Ghana Limited Communications Manager

 

+233577553050, Michael.Bruce@tigo.com.gh

 

Mr. John Y. Agbeko, Registrar of the Births and Deaths Registry

 

233246257030, John_Agbeko@hotmail.com

 

 
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