Malawi President Mutharika Launches Historical National ID Project: To Enhance Service Delivery By Govt
State President Arthur Peter Mutharika says the introduction of national identity cards in the country is a clear indication that the public reforms programme is right on track and will positively streamline efficient service delivery in all sectors.
He said this on Thursday in Lilongwe when he presided over the launch of National Identity Card.
President Mutharika noted that the new development will reorganize how government delivers services to the public in an efficient and trusted manner than before.
“Malawi needs well-organized systems to set the stage for long term development. The first stage in creating sustainable development is creating well-organised systems. This is what we are doing now as a nation. Developing a nation is a process and not an event. Our implementation of Civil Registration and National Identification System is a national action that will change every life,” he said.
According to the President, Malawi is implementing a universal and compulsory birth registration for all newly born babies and all children under the age of sixteen. The project – which is in its pilot stage – has seen issuance of electronic birth registration and manual birth registration in Chitipa, Lilongwe, Ntcheu and Blantyre.
On the National IDs, the Malawi leader pointed out that it will have far-reaching positive impact on day-to-day social activities.
“The National Identity Card has many rewarding consequences. With this card, we will save significant amounts of money that would be spent on voter registration during elections. Instead of spending more on elections, we will spend more on delivering our manifesto promises; This card will help us flash out “ghost workers” and save public funds. This is the money we need to buy drugs for our hospitals, build more roads for our communities and modernize our cities.”
He added, “The new identification system will bring better organization in various socio-economic transactions. Malawians will enjoy better organization in programmes such as fertilizer subsidy, social cash transfer, banking and loan schemes; Wherever necessary, we will be able to screen individuals before accessing public services”
He also said a systematic identification of all citizens will also help in reducing crime and improving security.
During the function the National Registration Bureau issued first IDs to the First Couple, some cabinet ministers and Chief Mbelwa IV and several other Malawians.
Over 9 million Malawians of the age 16 and above will be issued with the National ID by the end of 2017.
Malawi Government mobilized 40 percent of the funds towards the project. Among the stakeholders that offered technical and financial support are UK’s Department For International Development (DFID), European Union, Ireland, Norway, United States, UNDP, US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UNICEF, Community of St Egidio, World Vision and Plan Malawi.