Today the 10th of August 2023, the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftainship Home Affairs and Police Commemorates Africa Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day (CRVS) under the theme: Digitalization of Civil Registration Systems: the potential to increase coverage and improve quality and timeliness of data, at Assumption Primary school in Berea district. This day is celebrated annually under the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.9, digitization journey that leaves no one behind by 2030, as everyone should be documented. 2023 marks the 6th year African countries commemorate CRVS’ day.

This year Lesotho commemorates a remarkable milestone as it marks ten years of dedicated efforts Lesotho made to ensure registration and vital statistics. Principal Secretary of Home Affairs Mr. Tumelo Raboletsi highlighted the significant progress Lesotho made in improving CRVS systems with support of UNICEF and African Union among other partners. Among the improvements, the Ministry today launched Digital Mobile Notification system which helps in capturing of data and processing it on time.

The Principal Secretary further indicated that, 60% of Basotho are documented, while 70% of deaths data is captured and 70% of newborn babies get registered within 5 days. He also mentioned that 2,3 million of Basotho were registered and 1,4 million have their Identity cards.

Furthermore, PS reiterated on the importance of CRVS in addressing human trafficking and issues around it.” If one has Identity, he or she is easily found even if they are trafficked, and services are easily accessible. It is also my plea to community leaders to sensitize people about human trafficking in every gathering they hold so that education prevails.” He said.

By celebrating this day, African countries introspect themselves whether they still maintain the goal that everyone gets documented, find ways to improve civil registration services and centralize them to the nation, to ensure that registration and vital statistics is done at all levels of public sectors.

While giving his remarks, UNICEF Deputy Representative Mr. Kimanzi Muthengi said that digitalization of the CRVS processes from notification to certification is possible and beneficial, as it will transform civil registration from slow, passive, and reactive systems that depend on in-person attendance, to systems that are resilient, proactive, and agile.

“We must seize the opportunity. Our progress today shapes our future, and digitalization is our path to greater inclusivity and efficiency.”

” In 2022, UNICEF supported the Ministry of Home Affairs with birth registration services through special campaigns and installation of automated workstations in hospitals and a community council enabling children to access birth certificates and cumulatively. This increased the proportion of registered children to 76%. UNICEF commends the Government of Lesotho on the implementation of the CRVS Strategic Plan 2020-2024″, Mr. Muthengi concluded.

Lesotho CRVS’ day was graced by the Principal Secretary of Home Affairs Mr. Tumelo Raboletsi, UNICEF Deputy Representative Mr. Kimanzi Muthengi, Principal Chief Sempe Khabasheane Masupha, Ministry of Education Representative Mr. Teboho Moneri and area chief Rats’iu Rats’iu.

The event was climaxed by some activities from different schools in that area, namely Assumption High school, Assumption Primary school, TY English medium Combined school, and ‘Mamathe Primary school.