Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 November 2021:
President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone last Friday announced that Statistics Sierra Leone will conduct a two-week counting of everyone in the country from the 10th to the 23rd of December 2021.
Statistics Sierra Leone will also collect administrative, demographic, social, and economic information on all households and persons.
“Our development partners and my government are firmly committed to ensuring objectivity, transparency, and professionalism throughout the census exercise. I therefore, urge every citizen to participate fully in this exercise.
“I therefore declare the night of 9th December 2021 as Census Night, and the 10th of December 2021, as the date for the start of electronic enumeration for the 2021 Mid-Term Population and Housing Census for Sierra Leone,” the President said.
Describing the census as the country’s first ever digital census to be conducted, President Bio said that the census is also the first ever Mid-Term Census to be conducted in the country in order to rectify errors detected in the 2015 Population and Housing Census.
Speaking in a live nationwide broadcast, this is what President Bio said:
“Fellow Sierra Leoneans, in July of 2020, I proclaimed the conduct of a Mid-Term Population and Housing Census to be held in December 2020. That exercise was postponed to 2021 due to the global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. International technical experts could not travel and the shipment of 20,000 electronic tablets from Kenya was delayed.
Throughout this process, Sierra Leone has received significant support from our friends and partners, especially the President and Government of the Republic of Kenya, the World Bank, UNFPA, UNECA, UNICEF, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, and the Mano River Union.
From within Sierra Leone, we have also received tremendous support from the Parliament, Political Parties, Paramount Chiefs, Local Councils, the Statistics Sierra Leone Council, Civil Society Organisations, and the Media.
In readiness, I am informed by the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development that Statistics Sierra Leone has completed and updated digital cartographic maps, conducted a digital pilot census to gain experience and learn lessons, and set up solid technological infrastructure and processes for managing data.
Statistics Sierra Leone has also recruited and will soon commence the training of 15,000 field staff, including enumerators, supervisors, IT, and administrative support staff.
Fellow Sierra Leoneans, we are conducting this 2021 Mid-Term Population and Housing Census for three key reasons:
a. To correct the anomalies of the 2015 Population and Housing Census;
b. To provide credible and reliable data that will help us plan, implement, and monitor development interventions by the Government of Sierra Leone and our development partners in respect of the current Medium-Term National Development Plan 2019-2023 and the follow up national Plan;
c. To prepare us for the next Population and Housing Census.
This will be the first-ever digital census in Sierra Leone. Our country will thus join other African nations like Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia and Liberia in using technology and digitalisation to conduct a census.
The digital technology used will ensure that households, villages, and towns that were not reached in previous censuses are reached this time and enumerated. This approach also assures that all inhabitants and housing structures throughout Sierra Leone will be fully covered. Digital data generated therefore will provide an excellent sampling frame for conducting subsequent statistical surveys.
Additionally, statistical indicators derived from the 2021 Mid-Term Population and Housing Census will also show the progress we have made since the 2015 Census and what challenges need to be addressed in the overall development of our country.
Statistics Sierra Leone will therefore commence a two-week electronic enumeration of everyone in the sovereign territory of Sierra Leone from the 10th to the 23rd of December 2021. During the census exercise, Statistics Sierra Leone will collect administrative, demographic, social, and economic information on all persons.
We need to know how many people live in Sierra Leone and where they live. By knowing where people live, what their living conditions are, and what development challenges they face, my government and development partners can better plan and implement investments in their communities.
Our development partners and my government are firmly committed to ensuring objectivity, transparency, and professionalism throughout the census exercise. I, therefore, urge every citizen to participate fully in this exercise.
I, therefore, declare the night of 9th December 2021 as Census Night, and the 10th of December 2021, as the date for the start of electronic enumeration for the 2021 Mid-Term Population and Housing Census for Sierra Leone.
I thank you and may God Bless the Republic of Sierra Leone.”