Sunday, March 26

Gov’t solicits cooperation of Gambians ahead of 2023 population census  

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The statistics bureau therefore solicits the cooperation of the public (Gambians and Non-Gambians) especially governors, chiefs, village heads, religious leaders and family heads for a successful census.

In a statement, the Bureau said population and housing census is conducted every 10 years in The Gambia, adding that a national census provides the most detailed information on the population, its age structures, spatial distribution, socio-demographic, and the socio-economic characteristics of households, as well as housing conditions.

The Bureau continued that a housing census is the complete enumeration of all living quarters (occupied and vacant) in a country at a specified time.  “The two censuses, though separate, constitute one statistical operation and they are not completely independent of each other because of the essential elements which are common to both and can be implemented as concurrent activities.”

However, it further stated that a population and housing census (PHC) has many uses. “In the first place, it will give us the total number of persons and housing types and their characteristics in every town or village, or a given area in the country.”

This information, the bureau added, helps Central and Local Governments to plan for various social services such as education, health, housing, sanitation, and others. “The information that will be derived from the census will also help the private sector, including businesses, to plan their activities, which will be of benefit to the economic development of this country.”

Emphasising more on cooperation ahead of the upcoming census, the bureau said the 2023 PHC will respond to the data needs of the National Development Plan (2023-2027) and provide data for monitoring regional (ECOWAS vision 2050), continental (Africa Agenda 2063) and Global agenda (Agenda 2030).

“The digital 2023 PHC will involve the use of tablets for data capture instead of traditional paper questionnaires. The census will also use Geographic Positioning System (GPS) to capture the location of all structures,” the bureau stated.

Moreover, it added that advanced data quality assurance procedures, including the use of real- time data quality monitoring and enumeration tracking dashboard for complete and accurate data will be put in place for efficient and effective implementation of the census. 

According to GBoS, the first phase of the census (pre-enumeration) involves a digital mapping exercise, which commenced in December 2022 and will continue till the end of March 2023.

It says: “This involves locating and counting households, persons, buildings, and structures in The Gambia.

“In the second phase (population and housing census), the entire population will be enumerated as well as housing and housing conditions.

“The bureau further posited that all persons who spend the census night in The Gambia including non-Gambians (resident/non-resident) who are in the country at the time of the census will be enumerated. “The census will cover both institutional and household populations.

“The 2023 PHC is a priority national development program that requires huge resources to implement. The successful implementation of the Census seeks the leveraging of resources and support at all levels and among various partners, institutions such as the World Bank (WB), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), ECOWAS and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and other private individuals to achieve the set goals.”