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Government Communications Affairs Office of Ethiopia together with the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) established a Media Forum to expedite census communication activities.

During a meeting organized with the fund secured from UNFPA held in Bishoftu on December 30, 2018, the Government Communications Affairs Office of Ethiopia officially established the Media Forum composed of heads of all regions’ Communication Affairs Offices and selected public and private media institutions and regional education bureaus.

Dr. Negeri Lencho, Head of the Government Communications Affairs Office with the Rank of Minister, said on the occasion that regional communication offices as well as the media have the responsibility to assign human resource and budget to raise public awareness about why the census is carried out, its benefits, when it is carried out and what is expected from them so that they could collaborate with enumerators. He called on the staff of regional communication affairs offices and the media to make the census their current agenda.

Biratu Yigezu, Director-General of the CSA, indicated on his part that a communication guide had already been prepared to help guide the census communication. He added that a communication committees have been established from Federal to woreda levels of government to facilitate the census communication efforts.

Safi Gemedi, Director of the CSA Communication Directorate, briefed the participants about what has been done so far regarding census communication. According to Safi, Census logo has been designed, posters, leaflet and brochures have been published in five local languages, TV and radio spots have also been produced in five different languages, and a documentary film as well as a census song have also been produced in Amharic. He further told the participants of the meeting that badges and caps have been made and readied for enumerators.

Wondwossen Girma, Media Policy Preparation Team Leader with the Government Communication Affairs Office, said that the Media Forum is established mainly to raise public awareness on the 2018 Population and Housing Census and make the people collaborative during the enumeration. While presenting the Government Communication Affairs Office’s plan Wondwossen indicated that both Federal and Regional Media Forums would meet every weeks to discuss their activities. And the different regional forums will have a joint meeting every month until the result of the census is officially disclosed to the public.  

The participants of the meeting spoke about the preparations they have been making to launch census communication work in their respective regions. They also underlined the need for the preparation of census messages by CSA and Government Communications Affairs Office so that they could use them to raise the people’s awareness in their respective regions.

UNFPA is the lead UN Agency partner in the census process supporting CSA in several aspects including implementation of the census communication strategy.