Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane says the postponement of the national Census to 2022 has created room for elevated consultations with stakeholders.
Dr Musokotwane says the move will facilitate adequate administrative arrangements to ensure success of the exercise adding that will issue a new Statutory Order to announce the revised dates for the national Census in due course.
He says government desires a Census that will meet not only the country’s requirements but also one which is conducted according to international standards.
In a statement signed by Secretary to the Treasury under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Felix Nkulukusa, the minister disclosed that his Ministry has received enquiries on the status of the planned National Census.
He further added that Zambia’s Sixth National Census was planned to take place in August 2020 but later postponed to 2021 due to funding challenges.
“There were also delays in two critical pre-Census processes, namely; 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,” he said.
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.
The main Census was scheduled to commence on Monday, 1st November 2021 and end on Sunday, 28th November 2021.
Dr Musokotwane explained that the pre-Census process helps to ensure that every person living in Zambia is counted during the main Census.
“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 said.
He disclosed that his ministry is scheduled to engage the Ministry of General Education, who are a critical stakeholder in availing infrastructure for training of Census personnel.
Zambia has consistently conducted Censuses since independence in 1964 with the last Census being in October 2010.
It was the fifth national Census of population. Previous Censuses were conducted in 1969, 1980, 1990 and 2000.