Babies to enter computer system right at birth: Govt

Saturday February 16 2013

By Rodrigue Rwirahira Rwanda Today

The government is set to introduce a computerised birth registration system.

Authorities hope the system will not only curb cases of forgery of birth certificates but also address the challenge of issuing more than one identification card to an individual.

The programme, once rolled out, will give newborns identification numbers, a move that is expected to speed up the registration of persons. It will have an integrated data identifying an individual everywhere in the country.

Babies will be issued with the cards immediately after birth.

However, the cards will not have biometric data as there are concerns that identification traits might change as the baby grows up.

The government is not only expecting to improve services but also consolidate birth records in the highly anticipated smartcard system which will foster a personalised and a unique identification system.

To be an inclusive

The computerisation programme is expected to be an inclusive one that the government will use to enhance its financial, insurance, security and health systems.

According to Pascal Nyamulinda the director-general of the National Identity Project, babies will be given cards without taking their thumb prints or photographs.

“As an office in charge of civil registration, we normally register newborn babies, but there were some inconsistencies, of which we seek to address by using a more comprehensive and modernised technology,” Mr Nyamulinda said.

He added that the upcoming system will provide babies with numbers that will be used on their national identity cards when they turn 16, the age which a person is considered an adult and can acquire an ID.

The policy draft on the programme, according to the official, is complete and only awaiting approval by relevant stakeholders, after which it will need an adoption of the Cabinet.

After the launch, babies will be registered and the data transferred immediately to the Identification Agency.

“We will work systematically with local governments to ensure that even babies delivered outside health facilities are registered and the data transferred to our offices,” Mr Nyamulinda added.

Integrated data

The programme, which comes shortly after the government introduced mobile telephone SIM card registration, will incorporate details in the in-built data system which will be linked to the national data server.

The programme will be implemented by the ministries of Youth and ICT, Health and that of Local Government and is expected to be in place before the end of the year.

According to Jean Philbert Nsengimana, the Minister of Youth and ICT, once the policy is approved his ministry will mobilise all equipment and materials to ensure it is successful.

“This will help in the concept of having a single ID where integrated data will be registered somewhere, and this will make things easier,” Mr Nsengimana said.