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Namibia, Zambia partner to share expertise on CRVS, identity management

Namibia, Zambia partner to share expertise on CRVS, identity management

The southern African nations of Namibia and Zambia have agreed to assist each other in their Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS), as well as legal and digital identity management pursuits.

A recent trip by officials of Zambia’s National Registration, Passport and Citizenship Department to Windhoek has laid the foundation for this collaboration, the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) reports.

During the discussions, officials of both neighbouring countries explained how their CRVS and ID systems function particularly in terms of the infrastructure and architecture, interoperability, the legal and regulatory frameworks, the kind of technologies used such as biometrics, data security and management approaches as well as their various ID authentication systems.

Speaking during the meeting, the Executive Director of Namibia’s Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security, Etienne Maritz, underlined the importance of having a solid citizen registration system in place, saying it is a crucial step in proper security maintenance.

“You are the candlelight in the dark room where many people are trapped in suffering and hopelessness due to the lack of national documents. I am speaking to experts in civil registration and therefore, I don’t need to highlight what the lack of documents means for people,” said Maritz as he addressed civil registration officials during the meeting.

“Without your work, legal identity will not be established and the fulfilment of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16.9 will remain out of reach.”

In her own remarks regarding the collaboration, the Registrar Genera of Namibia, Brenda Kabemba, said it is her hope that it will yield positive fruits given the close ties both countries share in different other domains.

She said the collaborate to share their knowledge in civil registration and identity management will bear fruits for both nations.

“Zambia and Namibia, together with the rest of the sub region, are working towards not only providing legal identity to all, but also providing a secure and scaled up civil registration,” she said.

Mid this year, Namibia introduced a bill in parliament aimed at revising its civil registration and national identification systems in order to meet some of the exigencies of the changing times.

Zambia launched a biometrics enrollment drive for its new digital ID system last year.

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