31 December 2012

Tanzania: Kikwete Announces Census Results On Monday

Photo: Tommy Trenchard/IRIN
President Jakaya Kikwete calls on the nation to check population increase.

PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete is expected today to announce the preliminary results of the Population and Housing Census which was carried out in August, this year.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Population and Housing Census Commissioner, Hajjat Amina Mrisho, confirmed to the 'Daily News' that the preliminary results will be announced today.

"We have already issued advertisements in the media, calling for the public to attend the event to be held at Mnazi Mmoja grounds," Hajjat Amina said. She explained that all preparations are complete for the exercise today, when the president will be given the 2012 Census report. He will in turn announce the preliminary results.

The commissioner noted that areas that will be covered in the preliminary results will be made public when the president announces the results today. Compared to previous announcements of population and housing census, this year's results are being announced much earlier.

"Previous population and housing census results were normally announced one year later, but this time around NBS planed very well. The arrangements included having modern equipment which have helped immensely," Hajjat Amina noted.

It is estimated that Tanzania has more than 45 million people. This is the fifth Population and Housing Census since independence. It is held in accordance with Statistics Law which gives the responsibility to NBS in collaboration with the Zanzibar Office of the Chief of Government Statisticians.

The other four censuses were conducted in 1967, 1978, 1988 and 2002. Although the 1967 census was the first since independence, it was deemed 'very successful' in terms of its methodology as well as its output. According to a report from the net, the 1967 census adhered to recommendations by United Nations and its Economic Commission for Africa.

Before independence, Tanganyika had African population counts in 1921, 1928 and 1931. In 1948 British colonies of East Africa namely Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika conducted Census under East Africa Statistical Department which was established in 1947.

The exercise was done in three phases. The first phase involved only the non-African population. Phase two was a complete Census of the African population where hut-to-hut visits were made by trained enumerators with printed schedule.

The information compiled in this general enumeration was, however, confined only to the tribe, sex, age group and marital status of the person enumerated. Phase three was the re-enumeration of selected sample areas where more details on the information on the characteristics of population was obtained.

Another Census was conducted in 1952 but involved only non-African population with Africans living in urban areas. After 1948 and 1952 Censuses, another Census was held in 1957. As was in the previous Censuses, non-African population with their African servants were counted earlier in February, while the entire African population was counted in mid-August.

Unlike today where Census results provide vital demographic information used in policymaking, administration and devising programmes to address identified needs and challenges during colonial time censuses were mainly used to collect data of adult population as a means to identify tax payers.

That was why in both population counts of 1910, 1913, 1921,1928, 1931 as well as censuses of 1948 and 1957 were discriminatory in nature, where African population was counted differently from others to easily achieve that goal.

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