Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle
ZIMBABWE’S population is projected to be nearly 17 million, growing by nearly four million in the last 10 years from 13 million recorded during the 2012 national census, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) has said.
Last year, ZimStat conducted a census mapping exercise which projected the population to be now at 16,9 million.
These include 8,8 million females and 8,1 million males.
The 2012 census put the country’s population at 13 061 239; 6 780 700 females and 6 280 539 males.
ZimStat is expected to conduct another census this year.
It will use the Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) technique in capturing data from members of the public.
There will be 50 000 enumerators each with a tablet to capture information digitally while about 300 motorcycles will be procured for data collection in remote areas.
Results will inform policymakers on how to make projections for the country.
ZimStat public relations and communication manager Ms Mercy Chidemo said the pre-census mapping exercise which ended last week projected that the country now has nearly 17 million people.
“The projected 2022 Population number is 16 980 513 with 8 810 090 females and 8 170 423 males,” she said.
Ms Chidemo said the agency has completed its pre-census mapping exercise and is now recruiting census field workers.
“We now have the enumeration areas and we are now moving into training for the level one teams.
Starting this month, we will be training national supervisors and trainers who will train the enumerators.
Most of the recruitment is being done from the public service.
And all the recruitment is being done this month for the enumerators, the supervisors and information communication technology experts,” said Ms Chidemo.
ZimStat is targeting to recruit 50 000 enumerators who will conduct the census exercise from April 21 to April 30 this year.
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Permanent Secretary Mr Paul Nyoni said the census is important as it will inform the country’s policy direction.
“We can’t plan without measuring. Census is what tells us what we are planning for, what we need to provide and what the future looks like.
Remember census does not just add up people, it looks at growth and other things.
So, you can then project and say we need x number of schools in the future and x number of hospitals.
It determines the demands of resources that are allocated in accordance to the growing number of the population,” said Mr Nyoni.
He said at a political level, the census will determine the level of representation that a community will have.
“In other words, it will determine the number of wards and the number of constituencies that an area will have.
It is crucial that everyone is counted.
It is not child’s play or any kind of projection but we all need to be counted for communities to get resources,” he said.
Presenting the 2022 national budget last year, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said the Covid-19 pandemic had affected the census preparatory exercise.
“The budget is therefore setting aside $3 billion towards the preparation and conduct of the 2022 Population and Housing Census.
In due course, a statutory order will be issued with regards to the conduct of the census.
Government is also appealing to the private sector, co-operating and development partners as well as other stakeholders to partner with Government for a successful 2022 Population and Housing Census,” he said.