The Minister of Social Affairs and Women's Rights, Prisca Nlend Koho, launched this Wednesday April 14, 2021, by videoconference, the project of registration and establishment of birth certificates for children in the provinces of Haut-Ogooué, Nyanga and Woleu-Ntem. Objective, to establish an average of 1000 birth certificates per province at the end of May for children unknown to the Gabonese civil status registers.
In 2014, thanks to a vast project to identify children without birth certificates in the province of Estuaire, nearly 15,115 children not declared at birth had been identified. In 2020, with the support of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Gabonese state began a pilot phase of the current project in the province of Ogooué Ivindo. Nearly 676 children under the age of 18 without civil status have been identified and 608 files of supplementary judgments have been transcribed into birth certificates.
According to Prisca Nlend Koho, without a birth certificate children, “will have to face exclusion and discrimination, a social handicap that can penalize them all their lives”. Thus, at the request of the Minister in charge of Social Affairs, this project of access to citizenship and to the identity of vulnerable children (in accordance with Article 8 paragraph 2 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CDE) ratified by Gabon in February 1994) will continue in the provinces of Haut-Ogooué, Nyanga and Woleu-Ntem.
With the financial support from UNICEF has mobilized 49,500,000 FCFA. This programme placed under the coordination of Pamela Koumba wife Ngouabi, will make it possible to meet the conditions necessary for the establishment of 1,000 birth certificates on average in three provinces at the end of May. For a week, the focal points of the target provinces and all the stakeholders will be equipped on the methodology for managing the project funds. They will also benefit from virtual technical assistance from the birth registration system, in order to familiarize themselves with IT tools.
Originally published on Gabon Media Times by Lise Gloria Bivigou