Additional US$14.8 Million Required To Carry Out 2022 Zim Population Census

Prof Mthuli Ncube

GOVERNMENT has made an appeal to the donor community to complement work around implementation of the 2022 population and housing census through providing additional financial resources.

By Michael Gwarisa

The estimated budget for the 2022 population and housing census is US$85.5 million and the government of Zimbabwe has pledged to contribute 83% of the total budget while the remaining  is likely to be taken up by development partners.

Officiating at the Resource Mobilisation meeting for the 2022 population and housing census, Finance and Economic Development minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said treasury had already committed to funding the bulk of the census processes but maintained that a funding gap of US$14.8 million still needs to be covered.

Already, the government of Zimbabwe has received material and technical support from the United National Population Fund (UNFPA) in the form of vehicles for the census mapping exercise which commenced in December 2019. It is my fervent hope that with the commitment of other development partners, a multi donor fund for the 2022 population and household census will be established and managed by the UNFPA.

“The cost of the 2022 population and household census is expected to be covered by the government of Zimbabwe, however it is likely that they will be a shortfall over the lifespan of this which is five years (2019-2024) hence the need to mobilise the additional resources required for the 2022 population and household census with an estimated cost of about US$85.5 million,” said Prof Ncube.

Until the year 2012, government used to provide 90% financial assistance Zimbabwe population censuses. However, owing to economic woes which characterised the country in 2012, about 30% of the census budget was financed by development partners.

“I am very grateful to our development partners for recognising the importance of this exercise and for providing financial resources since 1982. I understand that development partners contributed over US$12.6 million for the 2012 census, which was close to 30% of the total census budget.

“The government of Zimbabwe also appreciates the technical and financial support availed to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) by the UNFPA and other development partners in preparation for the 2022 population census. In addition, we are launching the publicity and advocacy strategy to the 2022 population and housing census today,” added Prof Ncube.

The implementation period for the 2022 census is five years (October 2019 t0 December 2024) where a Census Management Team (CMT) comprising 15 ZIMSTAT members will coordinate implementation of census. 14 teams of eight (six mappers, one team leader, and one driver) will carry out census field mapping from December 1 2019 to May 2022.

UNFPA Country Representative Dr Esther Muia said the 2022 population and housing census was critical to the country’s development agenda.

“Development is about the 5Ps – People. Prosperity. Planet. Partnerships for Peace and Development. This will help us respond to who, what, where, why – Even more important in emergency and humanitarian situations.  Ladies and gentlemen as the saying goes the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step…our partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe began in 1981 with support to the Population Census in 1982.

“Since then our partnership has grown over the years with support to Census 1982, 1992, 2002 and 2012 and today we are talking about the 2022 Census. it has indeed been a long and worthwhile journey!”

She added that the main objective of population censuses is to provide current information on demographic and related socio-economic characteristics of the population at national and sub-national levels. Such data can be used for policy and programme planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

“Preparations for the 2022 census have started – Government of Zimbabwe has approved the census project beginning 1 October 2019 to 31 December 2024. This meeting today is important as we brainstorm on how we all can support this very important process. The 2022 population census will provide up-to-date data for twenty-four Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators spanning over 11 SDGs, which will allow for continuous monitoring and reporting of progress on the implementation of the SDGs agenda thus facilitating a mid-term review.

“It will also collect data for indicators from several other national and internationally agreed development frameworks such as the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the World Summit for Children (WSC).”

Dr Muia added that for  the UNFPA, support for the development of data to inform planning and development is key to our mandate because “Everyone Counts” – it is my hope that we can all rally behind this process and ensure that the 2022 Census is a success , just as we all did in 2012.  I am happy that today we have all the important stakeholders around the table to deliberate on how best to carry this issue forward

Meanwhile, ZIMSTAT Board Chair, Prof Senelani Hove-Musekwa applauded development partners for providing financial and technical support towards the censuses.

 

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