Namibians have been advised to name babies before birth to enable a quick acquisition of national documents immediately after birth.
Home Affairs and Immigration Minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana made the remark at a ruling party gathering last week where she linked the difficulties people are facing to get national documents to late registration of children.
“All newborn babies should be registered before birth, so they get birth certificates immediately after birth,” the minister was quoted by local newspaper New Era.
Iivula-Ithana also added that the pre-birth naming of children will avoid late registration of babies whose fathers are absent.
All newborn babies should be registered before birth, so they get birth certificates immediately after birth.
Child naming is significant in African cultures and done mainly by the father or paternal relatives in some instances.
Generally, tribes wait for some days – 7 days in most cases – before a ceremony is held to name the child.
Namibia is phasing out its old South West African identity card by March 31, 2018 for the new Namibian identity card “to adapt to international best practices and have only one legal identity card and number,” the government said May last year when it approved the project.
Many Namibians are complaining about challenges in correcting identity information and acquiring the new identity card.
Among those having difficulties are hundreds of Namibians who returned to the country from East Germany – formally the German Democratic Republic (GDR) – in 1990 without an identity.
They were children from various refugee camps who were relocated during the liberation struggle of SWAPO (South West Africa People’s Organization) against South African occupation of Namibia in the 1970s.
They returned after the fall of the Berlin Wall and Namibia’s independence. They struggle to find jobs without national documents.
The government has assured them that they will be given citizenship certificates, birth certificates and identity cards without any investigations regarding proof of their birth.
“For those of you who could not be employed due to a lack of national documents, such a hurdle will from now on be a thing of the past,” Minister Iivula-Ithana said last year after handing 49 citizenship certificates to some of the children of the struggle.