The National Registration Bureau (NRB) has today, May 30, 2017 signed two memorandums of understanding with the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) during a high level meeting held in Lilongwe.
The MEC/NRB MOU signed by MEC chairperson Justice Jane Ansah SC and Chief Director,Tresfore Kang’ombe formalises their partnerships whose talks date two years ago when the pollster decided to adopt a biometric voter registration system for 2019 elections.
Under this agreement the NRB will conduct a national registration of all citizens from 16 years above by December 2017 and MEC will extrapolate registrants biometric information from the NRB data to develop its voters register.
Also the national ID to be issued by the NRB will be used for identification during voter registration and also polling which means the MEC voter certificate will be phased out.
The NICE/NRB MOU formalizes and records the agreement between the two institutions concerning their co-operation in undertaking joint civic education and mobilization initiatives for Malawians to avail themselves and participate in the registration process as required by the law.
The NRB has embarked on a national registration campaign and the NICE is doing the mass mobilisation whereby it has been conducting road shows, community meeting and running radio jingles and programmes among other mass awareness activities.
Speaking on behalf of development partners, EU Head of Cooperation, Lluis Navarro said the partnerships were essential to support NRB’s efforts to roll out a cost-effective, sustainable and continuous registration of Malawians and resident foreigners, and on the other hand to turn the national IDs into a vehicle for multiple important uses, like voter registration.
“These National Identity Cards have immense potential. But realizing all their benefits will require that they can be used for a wide range of purposes. NRB and MEC are in this regard paving the way today. I hope that other institutions and programmes will follow suit by creating their own linkages with the ID system” he said.
He added that linking the ID system with health or social programmes like the Farm Input Subsidy and the Social Cash Transfer Process would be critical to reap the full potential of National IDs.
“Such linkages will be critical if we are to turn the National IDs into a tool for improved service delivery, better targeting and more cost-effective interventions across the board.
The ID system can for instance also significantly help the banking sector provide services to more Malawians, or the public sector to better manage pay rolls,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :