The United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Hopolang Phororo, in a statement delivered by UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative Gift Malunga, has called on various stakeholders to provide support to the census through the Namibia Statistic Agency to ensure sustainable development in Namibia.
“I urge all of us to jointly support this critical undertaking, whether through technical, financial, or other means, in order to have reliable social and economic data in the country,” he said.
Phororo explained that we all need the data to guide the work being done in support of the realisation of national priorities, as articulated in the NDP5 and the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
He highlighted that over the years, the UN has been supporting the government in population and housing censuses, starting with the very first census to the last one in 2011.
“Given the importance of data to also inform its programming work of the UN, as always, the UN stands ready to provide the necessary support,” Phororosaid.
The UN provides technical and financial support to ensure that the censuses conformed to international norms and quality standards.
Phororo further pointed out that under the current UN Partnership Framework 2019-2023 and its extension to 2024, the UN is committed to supporting the government through the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) in producing and disseminating quality and reliable statistics to inform public policy decisions and ensure that no one is left behind.
He said if carefully planned and executed, censuses generate a wealth of data critical for good governance, policy formulation, development planning, crisis prevention, mitigation, and response, and social welfare programmes.
NSA Chairperson Solomon Hei, who spoke at the same event, said the country’s 2023 census represents a crucial milestone in the nation’s journey towards sustainable development and social progress.
“As we embark on this endeavour, it is essential to recognise the strategic implications and the far-reaching impact that accurate and comprehensive data will have on socio-economic development,” said Hei.
He explained that the data to be collected will provide a solid foundation for businesses, organisations, researchers and investors to make informed decisions that will contribute to the growth and prosperity of the country.
“This will enable NSA to identify emerging trends, leverage untapped opportunities and foster innovation in various sectors, such as healthcare, education, infrastructure and agriculture,” he stated.
The country’s 2023 population and housing census underscores the country’s commitment to inclusivity and social justice.
“By capturing essential data on vulnerable populations, such as women, children, persons with disabilities, and the marginalised, NSA can address the specific challenges they face and work towards building a more equitable society,” Hei pointed out, adding that the exercise will enhance NSA’s ability to monitor progress toward the achievement of the national development plans and the UN sustainable development goals.
The census data will provide them with accurate baselines, benchmarks, and indicators to assess their progress and identify areas where additional support is required.
The census is conducted every ten years as per recommendations by the United Nations, and it assists in providing understanding of the demographic, social, and economic landscape of the country.
Furthermore it provides NSA with valuable insights into the needs, challenges, and aspirations of the nation, while guiding policy formulation, resource allocation and decision-making processes across various sectors.
The census was established in 1991. The second and third censuses were in 2001 and 2011. The fourth census was to take place in 2021 but was postponed for two periods (2021 & 2022) after the government committed N$716 million to the census.