Speech by PM Tsvangirai on the launch of the 2012 population census, Harare, 15 August 2012
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 16:31
, Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen
Today is an important national day.
Since the 2002 population census, a lot of demographic and socio- economic changes have taken place in Zimbabwe.
For example the period 1998 to 2008 presented some of the most demanding economic and social challenges in the country.
Consequently, the inclusive government initiated a number of economic and social development programmes guided by the Short Term Emergency Recovery Programme (STERP I) of March 2009, the Macro Economic Policy and Budget framework (STERP II) of December 2009, and the Medium Term Plan (MTP) 2010-15 of July 2010 to bring the positive socio-economic change that has given the people of Zimbabwe the much-needed respite.
Ladies and gentlemen, the need to turn the economy around, to plan and execute development programmes depends upon the production and dissemination of quality and reliable statistics on the economy of Zimbabwe.
In other words, statistics is an indispensable tool for evidence-based policy formulation at all administrative levels of Government.
Statistics are important in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of these national policy frameworks, sectoral plans and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Further, Mr. Chairman, the 2012 Population Census comes at a time when Zimbabwe is going through a period of socio economic recovery and transformation.
However, despite the nascent economic recovery, there are challenges that militate against the sustainable recovery and development of the economy.
Some of the economic challenges are natural such as changes in weather, while others are due to international economic cycles such as the current global economic crises whose epicentre is currently the debt and financial crisis in the Eurozone.
These challenges call for a strong and continuously updated information system.
The Population Census is a rich source of information that can be used for planning and strategising to confront the challenges we face. It also provides benchmark data on population characteristics and living conditions which are important for development planning. Further, it provides a base for conducting subsequent statistical investigations by providing the sampling frame.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Office of the Prime Minister is charged with the implementation of development policies and programmes of the Government of Zimbabwe.
It goes without saying therefore that quality, reliable and robust statistics is critical in the execution of this mandate. The added advantage of the census is that indicators can be generated for various administrative levels of the country down to ward level.
The data will then allow continuous monitoring and reporting on progress of government programmes.
In addition to the above, the census will provide the Government of Zimbabwe with information on the present size of the population and its spatial distribution among the Provinces, Districts and Wards and among rural and urban areas. Present demographic, social and economic characteristics of the population of Zimbabwe will also be known after the census.
National population projections from 2012 to 2022 will be derived from the data that will be obtained from the 2012 population census. Hence the Mid-Term Plans by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion and Annual Budgets by the Ministry of Finance will be informed by the population growth parameter in addition to macro-economic variables.
In other words the provision of social, physical and economic infrastructure will be based upon the population trajectory and its dynamics arising out of data from the 2012 population census. The data will also provide for planning of manpower requirements for the country so that it can have a sustained and ever improving pool of skilled manpower to execute various tasks.
Our vision for the country in 10, 20 or 30 years’ time will be informed by reliable statistics and any planning on infrastructure will rely heavily on credible national figures obtained in the census.
Conducting the national census has always been a civilian exercise and it is my sincere hope that we will have a legitimate census that will give us credible results to enable national visioning and planning.
Let’s ensure that everyone is counted!
I thank you