News

UNFPA Deputy Executive Director assures continued support for Ethiopia’s Census

21 October 2018

In his meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Chairman of the Population and Housing Census Commission, H.E. Ato Demeke Mekonnen, this week the Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA, Mr. Dereje Wordofa, lauded the preparations and commitment of the Ethiopian Government to conduct the upcoming census digitally. Mr. Dereje said the 4th Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia will be one of the largest digital census operations undertaken in Africa expressing UNFPA’s keenness to continue providing support for its successful implementation.

The Deputy Prime Minister indicated that the implementation of the Census was held back due to internal problems, noting that all the technical preparations were complete for its undertaking in the near future. “We appreciate all your technical and financial support for the census,” the Deputy Prime Minister remarked urging the Deputy Executive Director for UNFPA to continue its support.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Executive Director also met with senior officials of the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) to discuss the status of the implementation of the Census. During the occasion, Director-General of CSA, Biratu Yigezu, appreciated UNFPA for being a strong partner of the Agency in the last 3 rounds of the Population and Housing Census, adding that the preparations for the 4th Population and Housing Census were complete. “We want to conduct a credible census acceptable to all Ethiopians,” the Director-General remarked.

“We are committed to continue supporting CSA technically and with resource mobilization for the successful implementation of the Census,” the Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA said describing the partnership between the Fund and the Agency as a “good model of partnership.” Mr. Dereje expressed the commitment of UNFPA to keep the population agenda at the center of the Sustainable Development Agenda.

The Deputy Director-General of CSA, Asalfew Abera, and UNFPA Chief Census Technical Advisor, Collins Opiyo, presented summaries of the preparations for the successful implementation of the Fourth Population and Housing Census. Asalfew told the UNFPA Deputy Executive Director that inclusive structures have been put in place from the national to the community level to facilitate preparations for enumeration adding that the upcoming Census would be exemplary to many African countries on collection of quality data. Collins Opiyo on his part said that UNFPA, as a leading partner to the upcoming Ethiopian census, has been providing crucial technical support that would strengthen CSA’s capacity to conduct the first fully digital census in the country.

It was disclosed that the upcoming census will also undertake a comprehensive enumeration of refugees and displaced people in Ethiopia – the first of its kind in the country – and the total cost of its undertaking will have a budget of USD 204.4 million. But it was indicated that there is a big budget gap of USD 30 million and contingency measures are being put in place to ensure credibility of the census in spite of this shortfall.  

UNFPA is working closely with the Government to ensure that the upcoming census is implemented in accordance with international standards and practices, particularly the use of technology to improve data quality, timeliness and accessibility. UNFPA has been working with the government and development partners on the mobilization of resources for the undertaking of the census and strengthening the technical capacity of the CSA through placement of highly skilled technical experts and training of technical staff.

The UNFPA Deputy Executive Director was accompanied by Dr. Julitta Onabanjo, the Regional Director of the UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office, Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov, Director of the Fund’s Program Division, and Bettina Maas, the UNFPA Country Representative.