Promoting Children’s Rights: Cameroon and Tanzania Support Birth Certificate Program

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Cameroon’s Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family has allocated a grant of 266 million Francs CFA (US$443,000) to 21 local councils across seven regions to support the issuance of birth certificates. This initiative aims to recognize the fundamental rights of children and provide them with foundational IDs.

Grant Allocation to Local Councils

In a recent convention signed with the councils, the government showcased its commitment to the well-being of children. The grant was given just before the International Day of the African Child, observed on June 16. The Family Affairs Minister, Marie-Thérèse Abena Ondoa, highlighted the importance of this move in line with the government’s mandate to ensure children’s rights are acknowledged through the issuance of birth certificates.

Minister urged the beneficiary councils to conduct extensive awareness campaigns to maximize the issuance of birth certificates before the new school year commences on September 4. Last year, a similar exercise was carried out in four regions with nine councils. The minister emphasized the significance of sensitizing parents to prioritize obtaining birth certificates for their children.

The mayor of one of the beneficiary councils, Jean-Baptiste Atemengue, expressed his gratitude for the support received. The provision of birth certificates will grant legal existence to children, offering them official recognition and opportunities in the future.

Enhancing Birth Registration in Tanzania

Tanzania has also taken significant steps in this regard, concluding a deal worth €410,000 ($447,000) with the Italian government to reform and strengthen its CRVS system. In Tanzania, the project will decentralize birth registration by expanding registration facilities to more wards, health centers, and hospitals. It aims to reach 405 health centers and hospitals in 245 wards, with the birth registration of 348,391 children in 11 district councils of the Tonga Region. The government plans to conduct strong awareness and sensitization campaigns involving community and local government leaders to achieve its goal of registering all children under the age of five in the target council areas.

The grants provided to local councils will facilitate the issuance of birth certificates, ensuring children have a solid foundation for their future. These initiatives in Cameroon and Tanzania exemplify the importance of birth registration in securing essential rights and opportunities for every child.