• Baby steps

    Baby steps

    Nine out of 10 Tanzanian children under five do not have a birth certificate. In fact, 80% of the  country’s people are not registered.

    According to a CNBC Africa report, the steep cost of TZS3 500 for a birth certificate requested within 90 days of a child’s birth or TZS4 000 thereafter – as well as long journeys to registry offices – are the biggest deterrents.

    To remedy this, the country’s Registration Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency, together with UNICEF and telecoms company Tigo, has launched a nationwide drive to help parents register their little ones’ births by mobile phone.

    The initiative – already operating in 10 of the country’s 26 regions – is being rolled out over the next five years. It allows a baby’s name, sex, date of birth and family details to be sent to a central database via text message. A birth certificate is then issued free of charge in a matter of days.

    20 October 2015
    Image: Gallo/GettyImages