Over 6 million Malawians registered in first three phases of mass national registration

Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Grace Chiumia answering journalists' questions at the press conference.
Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Grace Chiumia answering journalists' questions at the press conference.

Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Grace Chiumia’s speech at the Joint-Press Conference announcing results of Phase-III of the Mass Registration Campaign on 13th September 2017 in Blantyre.

I am pleased this morning to preside over this joint press conference to officially announce the statistics for phase 3 of the national ID mass registration campaign.

Ambassador Palmer, UNDP Resident Representative Mia Seppo, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to inform you that in Phase 3, just as in phase 1 and 2, the NRB has achieved nearly full registration coverage among the eligible population. So far, registration coverage is at 98.5 % in phase 3.

Ambassador Palmer, Ladies and Gentlemen,

You may recall that in Phase 1, we reached 97.2 % and in Phase 2, the teams reached almost a 100% registration of the projected number of people who are entitled to a National ID.

In terms of figures, in Phase 3, the estimated number of registrants was two million two hundred and fifty-six thousand (2,256,172). To date, two million two hundred and twenty-two thousand (2,222,747) persons have now had their personal data collected by the registration teams, representing about 98.5% coverage of the projected eligible population.

Ambassador Palmer, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me now read out to you the coverage for mass registration so far achieved in each of the 8 districts of the third phase:

Blantyre     : 98%;

Nsanje        : 105.7%;

Chikwawa   : 107.4%;

Mulanje       : 99.3%;

Thyolo         : 95.4%;

Neno           : 105.3%;

Mwanza      : 109.2%; and

Chiradzulu  : 80.6%.

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

You will note that in Chiradzulu district, the registration coverage is at 80.6%. As government, we believe the coverage is like this because in Chiradzulu, there are many people who commute for work to Blantyre and that for most of these, it was more convenient to register at centers in and around Blantyre.

Nonetheless, distinguished guests ladies and gentlemen,

The National Registration Bureau will not relent until every Malawian citizen in the 8 districts of Phase 3, and in the entire country, has had the opportunity to register.

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

You may wish to note that mass registration for national ID is underway in Phase 4 and in some districts in phase 5. As we speak the registration teams are halfway through their job in phase 4 districts that include Balaka, Machinga, Mangochi, Phalombe and Zomba.At the same time deployment of staff in the northern districts of phase 5 is two weeks old. This means that the mass registration Campaign for a National ID will soon be finalized.I trust we are all delighted to note about this development.

Ambassador Palmer, Ladies and gentlemen, it is important to mention that we would never have come this far without the hard work, dedication and commitment of the Registration Officers and Supervisors in the field, not forgetting the support from technical personnel who travelled down the same roads to repair registration kits, the NRB and NRIS Project staff. They have done a great job towards the implementation of this project and are continuing to do so in phase 5 districts of Karonga, Chitipa, Mzimba, Nkhata Bay and Rumphi.

Let me also point out here ladies and gentlemen that without the maintenance work carried out by the technicians in the Consolidation Center, the operation would have ground to a halt. Each one’s contribution is greatly appreciated and will be remembered.

Ambassador Palmer, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I will fail in my duties if at this juncture I do not commend the State President, His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, for his continued calls for Malawians to register during this mass exercise. At almost every opportunity, he has made these calls and I would like to sincerely thank him for his unwavering support towards implementation of the NRIS project.

Ladies and gentlemen, again, on behalf of the Government of Malawi, I would like to thank all Development Partners in the National Registration and Identification System project for both their technical and financial support which has helped us to get to the point where we can clearly see the end of the Mass Registration Campaign.

The development partners are as follows:

  • The Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID),
  • The European Union,
  • The Government of Ireland,
  • The Government of Norway,
  • The U.S. Agency for International Development(USAID), and the UNDP

Ladies and gentlemen,

As Ambassador Palmer pointed out a little while ago that the end of the Mass Registration Campaign is only the beginning of yet another chapter, known as the continuous registration. However, mass registration is the fundamental building block for this national undertaking as it builds NRB capacity towards the fulfillment of the continuous registration.

As Government of Malawi, we will always ensure that the citizens of this country obtain their National ID cards to enable them prove their legal identities in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 16.9.

The Government of Malawi has no doubt whatsoever that the NRB and the NRIS Project team will reach the finishing line and much earlier as projected.