Census still by 2020 CSA says


Despite a postponement, Ethiopia expects to complete it census in time to meet the AU’s agenda 2063, which says the census should be completed by 2020.
According to Biratu Yigezu, Director General of Central Statistics Agency (CSA) and Secretary of the National Population Commission, rescheduling the census doesn’t mean total cancellation. They believe the census can be finished as soon as the security situation improves.
CSA has worked hard to conduct the Fourth Housing and Population Census by using digital technology; despite being rescheduled for a fourth time. The census was originally scheduled for November 2017, and then changed to November 2018, and subsequently re-scheduled for April 7, 2019 before it was finally cancelled altogether, though the final decision rests on the joint session of the house of federation and lawmakers and yet make any decision.
The date for Ethiopia’s 4th housing and population census has been rescheduled by the commission for an indefinite time citing security and other reasons.
The decision to postpone the census by the Census Commission was challenged by the administration in Tigray because they said it would erode credibility and waste resources.
The Census Commission countered that they based their decision after assessing conditions on the ground and that it would be hard to conduct their census after exactly ten years.
The country should still aim at conducting the rescheduled census as soon as the conditions improve to have a credible census based on international standards.
According to Biratu, CSA they have already scouted the enumerator and finalized the necessary preparations.
“Ethiopia will be the reference for other African countries as most of them plan to conduct their national censes by 2020,” Collins Opiyo technical advisor at UNFPA said.
UNFPA, ECA, the US Bureau of the Census, ISTAT (Italian Institute of National Statistics) or the UK Office of National Statistics should also remain active in consultations and are in close collaboration with the census.
UNFPA supports more than 60 percent of the cost of its undertaking which is said to be unprecedented in African governments.
“Though the time matters, what matters most is reliability and credibility,” says Biratu.