The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) and the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) outlining areas of mutual cooperation between the two parties.
NSA’s Statistician General and CEO, Alex Shimuafeni said census data gives a comprehensive snapshot of the country’s population, which is vital for informed policy decisions, resource allocation, and development planning.
Shimuafeni also stated that ECN relies on census data for planning elections and that when organising elections, the electoral body needs to know how many eligible voters there are in differentelectoral constituencies.
“ECN relies on census data for planning elections. When organising elections, the ECN needs to know how many eligible voters there are in each constituency. Census data provides this essential information, allowing the ECN to prepare accurate voter lists, allocate resources, and ensure that the logistics of conducting elections run smoothly,”Shimuafeni said.
“When electoral boundaries are redrawn using census data, new electoral constituencies may be created. This, in turn, has the potential to transform the political landscape, influencing how we vote and how we are represented at various levels of government,” he added.
Newly-appointed ECN’s Chief Electoral and Referendum Officer, Peter Shaama expressed that the election body has the exclusive authority in the country to direct, supervise, manage, and control elections and referendums in a fair and impartial manner, without fear, favour, or prejudice.
Shaamasaid the ECN considered it necessary to formalise its work with the NSA to enhance organisational capacities, capabilities, and competencies in ways that optimise opportunities for both institutions.
“The MoU provides a framework within which our two institutions [will] act on any opportunity, among others, to share relevant knowledge, experience and expertise in respect of human resources management, information communication technologies and logistics management,” he pointed out.
Shaama further said the signing of the MoU enables the two parties to leverage on the use of resources at their disposal for mutual benefits, thereby establishing synergies in sharing relevant experience, knowledge and expertise.
He added that the MoU allows the ECN to use census statistical data in planning and preparation for the general registration of voters scheduled for 2024, as required by law, ensuring that the ECN meets its set targets in terms of eligible voters.
Shimuafeni finally advised the public that when called upon to participate in the census, they should remember that their response is not just a statistical entry but a vital contribution to the health of the country’s democracy. “Accurate census data lays the foundation for fair representation, robust governance, and a brighter future for all citizens of Namibia,” he concluded.