The Births and Deaths Registry in Ghana has made significant progress in its modernization efforts, digitizing around six million records out of over 30 million. The move is aimed at improving documentation and accessibility of vital records.
During an inception workshop on document fraud training, the Acting Registrar of Births and Deaths, Henrietta Lamptey, highlighted the need for support in terms of infrastructure, funding, systems, equipment, and capacity-building to complete the digitization process.
Ms. Lamptey emphasized the importance of the transformation agenda and the urgency to digitize all services to clear the backlogs of manual records. The registry holds millions of manual records dating back to 1898, and they have been able to digitize six million so far.
However, they seek further support from the government, foreign partners, and stakeholders to complete the task and become globally competitive.
Integration with key stakeholders such as the Ghana Health Service and National Identification Authority is nearly complete, and an official website for accessing all services is set to launch by the end of August.
The registry aims to transition to a cashless system, enabling online access to its services.
The Netherlands government is collaborating with the registry through capacity-building initiatives. In a workshop sponsored by the Netherlands, the staff will receive training in validating identity documents, especially birth and death certificates, to combat complex document fraud.
The Netherlands also presented 50 document security magnifiers to enhance the registry's work.
Identity verification is vital for government services domestically and internationally, making collaboration essential to prevent identity fraud and criminal syndicates' infiltration.
President Akufo-Addo previously praised the registry's digitization efforts in the State of the Nation's Address, and Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia expressed hope for completion of digitization in 2020, integrating the database with the National Identification Authority and other agencies.
The Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization, and Rural Development has assured its support to ensure genuine and authentic processing of birth and death certificates in Ghana.