ZimStat to use national census to estimate diaspora populace

The Chronicle

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
THE Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) will use the forthcoming national census to be held in April this year to gather critical information on Zimbabweans based in the diapora.

While diasporan citizens will not be counted during the census, the agency will ask local respondents about their relatives based outside the country.

Millions of Zimbabweans are resident in various countries across the world but there is no clear data on their population despite the fact that they contribute to socio-economic development through remittances.

Responding to Chronicle questions on the sidelines of a census trainers workshop targeting senior Government officials in Bulawayo who will train census enumerators, ZimStat public relations and communication manager Ms Mercy Chidemo said the agency will gather data on Zimbabweans in foreign lands during the census period.

The country will hold a national population and housing census from April 21 to 30, whose data will inform the country’s policy direction. For the first time, Zimbabwe will be conducting a census in April as previously censuses were held in August.

“The 2022 census will use the de-facto method to count all persons living within the boundaries of Zimbabwe on the census night (April 20). However, there is an emigration module in the census questionnaire which will provide estimates of the diaspora population,” said Ms Chidemo.

She said the ongoing training which is ending on Thursday next week will capacitate participants with skills they will need to train enumerators who will be deployed to the ground. An estimated 50 000 enumerators drawn from the public service will be employed to gather data during the census period.

ZimStat has started employing enumerators, supervisors, and information communication technology experts who will conduct the exercise. Treasury allocated $3 billion towards the preparation and conduct of the 2022 Population and Housing Census in the 2022 national budget.

“The purpose of the training is to equip trainees with skills and knowledge such that they cascade the training to two lower levels. Level one trainees are Provincial Heads of Ministries. They will be trainers for levels II and III. During data collection, they will be supervisors and will be expected to coordinate census activities at provincial and district levels,” she said.

ZimStat will be using a Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) technique in capturing data from members of the public and tablets will be used in the enumeration period.

ZimStat said it is mandatory for every Zimbabwean who is resident in the country to be counted and those who do not comply with census enumerators may even face arrest.

During the workshop, attendees were told that Zimstat is using international standards of data gathering to even classify forms of employment.

For instance, according to the ZimStat census questionnaire template anyone who has a way of generating income including vendors will be considered gainfully employed.

The workshop also tackled issues to do with deployment of enumerators who are conversant with the cultures and language of the respondents they will interview.

They said this was critical in capturing all the information accurately.

Ms Chidemo said the coming census is important in policy formulation, economic projections, estimated labour force and will be used as a benchmark for development of housing statistics among other things.

ZimStat has projected that the country’s population will increase to 17 million from 13 million which was recorded in the 2012 national census.

ZimStat has already completed the census mapping exercise to ensure no one is left uncounted. – @nqotshili.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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