Statistics Botswana’s (SB) Census Office held the 2021 Population & Housing Census: Stakeholder Consultative workshop on Census Topics at Ba Isago Convention Centre on Wednesday (10/07/2019) with the overall objective of reviewing and agreeing on the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) Topics.
The consultative workshop also aimed;
• To inform stakeholders about the start of the 2021 PHC
• To inform stakeholders that most of them will be part of various census committees
• To promote understanding about and a sense of ownership of the census.
• To confirming the topics covered in the previous census and identifying new data requirements;
• Identifying data priorities;
• Understanding how the census data are used
In his opening remarks, Statistician General Dr Burton Mguni pronounced that SB always consults the users and producers of statistics about possible topics for inclusion in this national exercise.
He added that such consultations have proved to be an efficient and transparent way of determining the demand for census topics that are required to provide information used in achieving national development goals as encapsulated in the national development frameworks, such as; NDP11 and Vision 2036, as well as, regional and international agendas such as Africa Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
SG said following the workshop and the final agreement on the draft list of topics for the 2021 Population and Housing Census, the topics will accordingly undergo the approval processes by the Government.
Dr Mguni also emphasized that census being a large scale national exercise that covers all sectors, it follows that the exercise collects information on many topics and as such, it provides baseline data with limited in depth inquiry.
He further stated that many of the salient features and emerging developmental issues are followed up through the Statistics Botswana’s inter-censal program of household surveys and research undertakings by different institutions and individuals and such surveys and researches provide a platform for further and deeper inquires on issues arising from the census data.
On the importance of census, SG said census data is the primary source of basic statistics on the size, distribution, composition, migration, fertility, mortality, and other socio-economic and demographic characteristics of a population.
“It provides universal baseline information for evidence-based decision-making, vis. planning, policy and program formulation, as well as, monitoring and evaluation of Government policies and programs that aim to improving the living standards of the people. For this reason therefore, a census is a vitally important undertaking and also a rewarding exercise”, said Dr Mguni.
Since independence in 1966, Botswana has successfully conducted five (5) censuses (1971, 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011). Therefore, the 2021 Census will be the sixth in series. The Government of Botswana has consistently funded population censuses since the post-independence census of 1971.