More births, fewer deaths in 2021

Ellanie Smit
A total of 96 139 births were registered last year, while 17 353 people died and more than 5 000 marriages were registered in Namibia.

This according to home affairs and immigration minister Albert Kawana when he tabled the ministry’s annual budget for the 2022/2023 financial year in Parliament. According to Kawana, the more than 96 000 births registered represents an increase of 11 276 compared to the previous year when 84 863 births were registered.

He said 36% of these 96 000 birth registrations were done a year or more after the birth of the child. “This is mainly due to the births which take place in rural areas. However, the ministry is working hard in ensuring that births are registered immediately via electronic notification and registration systems.”

Kawana said the aim is for health personnel to electronically notify the e-National Population Registration System that a birth has occurred at a hospital, health centre or clinic in order to secure the birth details of the child and those of the parents.

Fewer deaths

With regards to deaths, he said 17 353 deaths were registered compared to 19 932 the previous year. According to Kawana, this represents a decrease of 2 579. During the period under review, 5 831 marriages were registered, compared to 4 826 the previous year.

Kawana explained that marriages are solemnised by marriage officers. These are magistrates and ministers of religion such as pastors who are designated as marriage officers across the country. “Marriage officers solemnise marriages and forward the records to the ministry for capturing in the Population Register.”

Meanwhile, 114 354 ID cards were produced, of which 61 455 have been collected. “The turnaround time for an ID to be ready for collection has been significantly reduced to between two to three days for Windhoek applications and less than seven working days for applications done at regional offices by applicants who provide correct information.”

The ministry – in collaboration with telecommunications giant MTC – has introduced an SMS system to inform clients when their IDs are ready for collection at no extra cost, Kawana added. “With this system, it has become much easier to trace the applicant once the ID card is ready for collection.”

He said the ministry also improved on the features of IDs and continues to digitise records from hard copies to scanned and electronically filed documents that are easy to organise and retrieve. Documents such as birth registration forms, notifications of deaths and marriage registers are scanned and stored electronically. During the period under review, 541 319 records were digitised compared to 93 039 the previous year, Kawana said.