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Namibia to conduct high-tech digital census in August

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Namibia will conduct a spatial and digital census for the first time in August over a two-week period, Namibian Statistician General Alex Shimuafeni said on Wednesday.

The 2021 census was postponed last year mainly due to competing priorities such as COVID-19 budget prioritization.

Shimuafeni told the media that the Namibian Statistics Agency (NSA) will recruit around 11,500 unemployed people, train them and equip them with the knowledge and skills to undertake census statistical collection.

“Resources that will be required, and major cost drivers for this massive exercise, include salaries for field staff, computers for data analysis, vehicle purchases, fuel and insurance costs, field staff uniforms, data encryption software, rental of training venues and catering, as well as advertising or advocacy costs,” he said.

According to Shimuafeni, in an effort to cut costs, the NSA is negotiating with Kenya’s National Bureau of Statistics to use its 12,000 tablet computers and accessories.

“These tablets will go through the entire process of securing data on receipt and on return. The Statistics Act requires data privacy and upholding this is the absolute heart of the NSA,” he said. added.

Shimuafeni said the development budget ceiling to conduct the main census in the 2022-2023 financial year, as communicated by the National Planning Commission, currently stands at N$500 million (approximately N$32.7 million US dollars), compared to 606.9 million Namibian dollars.