City temporarily returns to older ID cards

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Photo: Anteneh Aklilu

The City Administration’s Vital Events Registration Agency has reversed course and is allowing city residents to obtain older identity cards.
The plan was for blood type to replace ethnicity in the new finger print cards but software problems and lack of coordination from stakeholders delayed the process.
Before the suspension of the old cards they cost five birr but now they cost 10.
The prices for the cards have risen slightly. Replacing an expired card has gone up from 10 birr to 25 birr. Replacing a lost card has risen from 10 birr to 30 birr.
According to an agency source the new cards are expected to be rolled out soon.
“We were planning to use the finger print technology which automatically printed the ID when someone put their finger on a computer. I believe that in a short period of time we will begin using the new ID.”
Currently the agency has more than 1,700 employees. There is high turnover because of the meager salary.
“New employees start at 2,000 birr per month which is not enough for housing and food so many leave for better opportunities and offices handling vital event registration work are understaffed,” the source said.
Births, deaths, marriages and divorces are recorded at the kebele civil status office and at the federal level, so there is less room for discrepancies and human rights crimes.
Since the enactment of the federal law on vital events registration, the Government of Ethiopia has made progress by establishing the Federal Vital Events Registration Agency, including a board of management and a national council. Government’s regional and city administrations also enacted regional vital events registration laws; established regional agencies and a board of management; adopted a national strategy; achieved national consensus to integrate vital events registration services into the health system and established administrative structures for managing and delivering registration services.