SPEECH BY, HIS EXCELLENCY PROF. ARTHUR PETER MUTHARIKA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI,
AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE NATIONAL IDENTITY CARDS MASS REGISTRATION CAMPAIGN
KAMUZU PALACE, LILONGWE,
30TH NOVEMBER 2017
Today, we are here to make history. For the first time ever, Malawi has a legal identification system. Every Malawian now has a National Identity Card. This is transformation!
The National Identity Card was my promise to the people of Malawi. I have always said – I promise what I do; and I do what I promise.
When I initiated legislation of the Act in 2009 in my capacity as Minister of Justice, everyone said this is not possible. But we have done it.
Today, our promise is reality. Our dream is happening.
I want to thank the people of Malawi for receiving this program with enthusiasm. When we called upon the nation to register, the response was overwhelming.
We targeted to register 9 million Malawians in the mass registration exercise. We have beaten our target because every Malawian wants to have an identity card. Over 9 million people are now ready to receive their legal identity by the month of December.
The National Registration and Identification System has an overall total of 9, 168, 689 (Nine million, one hundred sixty-eight thousand, six hundred and eighty-nine) Malawians. All these will receive their National Identity Cards. This constitutes a 100 per cent national coverage against our initial target population.
Today, we are announcing that we closed mass registration. But it’s only mass registration that is closed. We are not closing registration. There will be continuous registration in progress at all times.
The National ID Card is a game changer. With a legal identity of every citizen, we will now flash out ghost workers from the public service. We will save more money for public services.
With a National ID, every citizen can now access banking services because banks feel secure to deal with legally identifiable citizens. With the National ID, banks no longer have reason to deny services to our farmers, mothers and sisters living in rural areas.
We also expect to see an increase in e-commerce and online transactions because the national identity system steps up electronic security. Not long from now, we will now be buying and selling our goods online more than ever. This is transformation.
The National ID system is coming when we are about to launch our fibre optic network – in about a month. The fibre optic network will increase internet access. More Malawians will be online accessing affordable and faster internet. This digital revolution coincides with the national identification system, which function smoothly with good network.
With the National ID system, we are now becoming a more organised society. We will now identify beneficiaries in various socio-services swiftly and precisely. We will now plan and deliver fertilizer subsidy, social cash transfer and health services with accuracy.
With the National ID, we are tightening security on our borders. No more porous borders. And for our Immigration and Citizenship Services Department, there shall be no excuse to give non-Malawians services meant for Malawians.
In short, the National Identity Card will unlock our economic and development potential at household and individual levels. This is transformation happening.
Ladies and Gentlemen
I want to sincerely thank all those who harmoniously joined hands in the implementation of this vision.
I know that the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, together with the National Registration Bureau (NRB) worked tirelessly to deliver the National ID as a major reform in this country.
We sincerely thank the UNDP for the technical support and financial support for us to deliver the ID Card to the people of Malawi.
Our tributes and thanks should also go the European Union, DFID, USAID, Royal Norwegian Embassy, and Irish Aid. Thank you for your support.
To the development community, let me emphasise our appreciation that you are with us at the best and the worst of the times. The implementation of this National Registration and Identification system is Malawi’s project. But you supported with enthusiasm.
I may have initiated this project when I was Minister of Justice years ago. But it took team work. And the success belongs to us all. Together, we have delivered the National ID to the people of Malawi.
Let us remember that we still remain with the task of continuing to register all children to have birth certificates. If your children are not yet registered, please take them to your District Commissioners’ offices and get them registered.
For us, every Malawian counts. Young or old, man or woman, everyone is a citizen, and must be identified.
With these remarks, I declare the Malawi National Identity Card Mass Registration Campaign closed and the continuous registration process launched.
I thank you all for your attention.
May the Almighty God bless our Nation!