National Census postponed

 National Census postponed

By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Zambia’s Sixth National Census the main Census which was scheduled to commence on Monday, November 1, 2021 and end on Sunday, November, 28, 2021 has been postponed to 2022.

The announcement was made in the budget statement on Friday October, 29, 2021.

And Minister of Finance and National Panning will, in due course, issue a new Statutory Order to announce the revised dates for the national Census.

The National Census was initially planned to take place in August 2020 but was also postponed to 2021 due to funding challenges.

The Ministry of Finance and National Planning Secretary to the Treasury Felix Nkulukusa says there were also delays in two critical pre-Census processes of Mapping and Listing and the Pilot Census.

“Mapping and Listing involves a Census of all physical structures in the country, including housing & non-housing buildings. Mapping was subsequently conducted and completed in September 2020, while the Pilot Census, which is a dress rehearsal to the main Census, was eventually conducted in December 2020. This pre-Census process helps to ensure that every person living in Zambia is counted during the main Census,” he said.

Mr Nkulukusa said that regrettably, critical preparatory activities such as procurement of Census materials and equipment, country-wide publicity, and recruitment and training of Census staff, are yet to be undertaken.

He explained that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is scheduled to engage the Ministry of General Education, a critical stakeholder in availing infrastructure for training of Census personnel.

“To facilitate full preparedness by the Zambia Statistics Agency, the Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane, reiterates the postponement of the main Census to 2022 (The Statistics Act – Act No. 13 of 2018 – The Statistics Order {National Census} {Revocation}, 2021),” he said.

The announcement was made in the budget statement on Friday October, 29, 2021. The Minister will, in due course, issue a new Statutory Order to announce the revised dates for the national Census.

Mr Nkulukusa said that Government desires a Census that will meet not only the country’s requirements but also one which is conducted according to international standards.

“The postponement of the national Census to 2022 has created room for elevated consultations with stakeholders and will facilitate adequate administrative arrangements to ensure success of the exercise. Zambia has consistently conducted Censuses since independence in 1964,” he said.

The last Census was held in October 2010. It was the fifth national Census of population. Previous Censuses were conducted in 1969, 1980, 1990 and 2000.