Windhoek — The 2011 Population and Housing Census is one of government's important tools in terms of planning for social and economic development as well as the provision of public services and amenities.
This was President Hifikepunye Pohamba's message at the official launch of the 2011 Population and Housing at a local hotel last Friday.
His message was read by Prime Minister Nahas Angula.
"It enables us to understand the demographic dynamics of our country, which is an important factor in all planning priorities and activities," he said.
Every 10 years, a census must be held in terms of Section 3 of the Statistics Act No.66 of 1976.
This provision is in line with international best practices, based on the United Nations recommendation that member states should conduct a population census at the same intervals for the sake of comparability.
The population and housing census is not just a statistical exercise. During the exercise, all persons within the Namibian borders, regardless of their nationality or citizenship, would be counted by census enumerators.
These include newly born babies and the very old.
Namibia uses the de facto method whereby all persons who would be in Namibia during the census reference night, on 28 August, would be counted as part of the population.
Namibians who would be out of the country will not be counted as part of the population.
The Statistical Law, Act No, guides the process of conducting national census in Namibia including the 2011 Census. 66 of 1976, which empowers the central bureau of statistics to undertake the population count.
Pohamba emphasized that the information that would be collected would be treated with strict confidentiality and it would be used for statistical purposes.
"Thus the nation must rest assured that any information collected by enumerators will not be disclosed to any unauthorized persons and will be used for official purposes,' he said.
All census officials would take the oath of secrecy that binds them to this clause of the Act before engaging in any census enumeration activities. The counting of every individual is mandatory in terms of the same law, highlighted the President.
"Therefore, anyone who refuses to be counted commits an offence and will be prosecuted in accordance with the law," Pohamba's message read.
He implored every one who would be in Namibian during the census reference night to fully cooperate with census officials and provide the correct information.