About 2020 Census

The Permanent Secretary for Ministry of National Development Planning, Mr.Chola Chabala, revealed that mobile technology will be used in the 2020 Census of Population and Housing. The 2020 Census will be the first of its kind in Zambia to be conducted using electronic data collection methodology - Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) which will improve the quality of data collected and reduce the time-lag between data collection and the dissemination of results. He was speaking to the participants during the Inaugural 2020 Census Stakeholders Consultative Meeting, held on 30th October 2018 at Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka.

In August 2020 everyone in Zambia will be counted marking it the sixth population and housing census, with the previous censuses conducted in 1969, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010. In his remarks during the meeting, the PS stated that the decennial census of population and housing is a vast and complex undertaking, often described as the largest peacetime operation carried out in the country and it is certainly the largest statistical exercise that can be likened to a wartime, touching every corner, every individual and household in the land.

The PS underscored the values of the past censuses, sighting some of the findings at ward level from the previous census which took place in 2010 revealing that while in Nchelenge ward of Nchelenge constituency in Nchelenge district, prevalence of child marriage was 4.5 percent, in Nsunga ward of Milengi constituency in Milengi district the rate was at 70.9 percent.

The question therefore is that, what factors are at play in Nchelenge that can help transpose similar results in Milenge district. He said the 2020 Census will present another opportunity to answer questions such as what must the Zambia of tomorrow look like? What policy changes can be initiated to improve the well being of our people? How many schools would be built to ensure children of school-going age are adequately catered for? How many hospitals or clinics are needed sick people? How much food must be produced now and in the future to eradicate hunger and poverty? How many housing units should be built to reduce over-crowdedness? He added that, for all these questions, it is not enough just to know how many people there are at the time of the census, but it is imperative also to know how fast the population is increasing and, how many people there will be in five or more years in the future.

He further said that the 2020 Census will help provide a status with regards to achieving the Global Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals, Africa Agenda 2063 for unity, peace and prosperity and Zambia vision 2030 for a prosperous and industrialized country. The PS stated that censuses are huge and expensive exercises which government alone cannot undertake without the collaborative efforts of other stakeholders; hence the consideration of conducting this meeting of technical experts from cooperating partners to appreciate the resource requirement of a population and housing census and influence resource allocation from their budgets to facilitating the conducting of 2020 Census. The PS expressed gratitude to the cooperating partners who contributed close to 60 percent of the total expenditure of the 2010 Census, and indeed the government, through the Ministry of Finance for innumerable support towards the success of the 2010 Census.