“The Government of Malawi will pump in 40 percent of the funds while development partners will contribute 60 percent of the estimated US 50 million dollars,” said Chiumia.
US Ambassador to Malawi Ms Virginia Palma commended Malawi for the milestone launch saying for the country to develop, it needs energy, education and the national identity cards.
The launch ceremony is a culmination of a Performance Agreement which Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security signed with the President of the Republic of Malawi, His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika in February, 2015 to undertake reforms in the registration and issuance of National Identity Cards, and commence compulsory registration of births and deaths in the country.
Registration for National ID started in July, 2016 and by August, 2016, NRB had managed to register up to 5,854 Malawian citizens under a Proof of Concept (PoC) which sampled 27 sites across 11 districts of the country. So far, the 5,273 cards plus VVIP Cards have been printed and distribution which will be done in three modes (Post Office, Village Headmen and Registration Centres) will begin immediately after the launch ceremony.
Meanwhile, the NRB will immediately start registration of about 95,000 targeted Malawians across the country in the second phase as a way of training and increasing capacity of its staff towards the mass registration phase scheduled for 2017. Those to be registered during the second phase will mainly be civil servants and some sections of the population like those benefiting from the social cash transfer schemes.
The mass registration phase (third phase) is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2017 which will register about 9 million Malawians who are 16 years and above.