Tigo App Supports Tanzanian Birth Registration Initiative

Tanzania againTanzanian mobile operator Tigo is supporting the Tanzanian government’s under-five birth registration initiative with a mobile app that is accelerating the provisioning of birth certificates for children under the age of five in the country.  The under-five birth registration initiative in the Iringa and Njombe regions of Tanzania is expected to benefit more than 200,000 children under the age of five in those regions.

The programme makes it easier for families to register births by establishing registration points at existing health facilities and at the community ward executive offices. This amounts to more than 700 registration points, staffed by more than 1,500 registration assistants, equipped with 800 mobile phones donated by Tigo to support the registration process.

Tigo has partnered with the Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA) and UNICEF (www.UNICEF.org) to deliver the project in Njombe and Iringa, following successful deployments in Mbeya and Mwanza, where more than 400,000 children under the age of five have been registered and provided with a birth certificate since 2013.

“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,” said Tigo general manager, Diego Gutierrez. “Through innovative mobile technology application, which ensures that birth registration data is uploaded and sent to a central database at RITA in real-time, we have been able to demonstrate our strong commitment to building a societal ecosystem that brings the promise of technology to life in the communities where we operate.”

UNICEF’s representative in Tanzania, Maniza Zaman, noted that: “Improving birth registration for children under five will help Tanzania make rapid progress in ensuring its children are on the path to attain their rights. It will also help the Government to put in place the basic legislative framework necessary to position its 23m children under the age of 18 at the top of its development agenda.”

So far the initiative has extended to just two regions – Mbeya and Mwanza – but the aim is to cover an additional 10 regions, including Iringa and Njombe, with the aim of establishing a sustainable model of birth registration, targeting 3.5m girls and boys under the age of five. According to the 2010 Tanzania Demographic Health Survey, only 16 per cent of children under the age of five have been registered by civil authorities, with the worst challenge being in the rural areas.