The launch is a roadmap for the preparation and implementation of census operations across the country on 6th December.
Delivering the keynote address, President Koroma said that censuses and correct data are integral to any development planning and program implementation for a country. He also noted that with appropriate and correct data, a country plans better, a country implements its programs better and the possibilities of meeting targets are better enhanced.
According to President Koroma, the census will enable government to know where interventions have impacted most and the fact that it will help government take stock of trends that warrant greater attention and other developments that must greatly inform the implementation of programs.
"The significant point for us is that the census is coming at a time when we are commencing our journey to prosperity. We have taken a collective vow to make this country a middle-income country by 2035. The journey has started, so we need to know how many of us are commencing the journey. We need to know how many adults, how many men, women, youths and children are here to take the very first steps with us; we need to know their education and health profiles; we need to know where the bulk of our people are staying, and in which occupations they find themselves. We need to know all these as we commence the implementation of our Agenda for Prosperity. That is why all must stand up to be counted; all must stand up to be included; all must come together to ensure that we have a census that will stand the test of time," President Koroma emphasized.
Please follow link for full speech:http://www.statehouse.gov.sl/index.php/component/content/article/34-news-articles/813-speech-by-he-dr-ernest-bai-koroma-on-the-occasion-of-the-national-launching-of-the-2014-census-project-at-the-bintumani-conference-centre-11th-february-2014
Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Kaifala Marrah, said in his statement that the wealth of a nation is not necessarily the mineral wealth or resources of the country, but the people. He urged Statistics Sierra Leone to go all out to register every Sierra Leonean when the time comes.
According to Dr Marrah, the launching of the 2014 Population and Housing Census is a clear manifestation of the importance government and development partners attach to the business of generating population statistics, "especially when we have set ourselves the task of attaining middle income status by the year 2035."
The Statistician General of Statistics Sierra Leone, Mohamed King Koroma in his opening statement said the labour force survey conducted by the then Central Statistics Office was in 1987/88. "This year, the GOSL, ILO and World Bank have supported a very comprehensive labour force survey again to be implemented by Statistics Sierra Leone. By the grace of God, by the end of this year you will get quality data on the labour market in Sierra Leone," he said. Mr. Koroma also noted that it was on 12th May, 2012, that President Koroma informed the nation that a census will be held on 6th December, 2014.
UNFPA Representative, Dr Hashina Begum congratulated government, Statistics Sierra Leone and more generally the people of Sierra Leone, for their massive response during data collection.
Representative of Department for International Development (DFID), Cynthia Rowe noted that the importance of statistics cannot be overemphasized as it helps government to plan well to deliver on the Agenda for Prosperity, allocate resources and also allocations to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
She further stated that Statistics help inform citizens and other representatives on the state of the nation and provide a picture of the economy and of society.
Chairman of the ceremony, Director General of Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation, Elvis Banabom Hallowell said the government of Sierra Leone recognizes that reliable population statistics are crucial in the demarcation of electoral boundaries known as constituencies; equitable allocation of national funds and services including against gender and age; calculation of social indicators; research and analysis; labour force and market assessments and for identifying and serving vulnerable populations.
The ceremony was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the diplomatic community, cabinet ministers, development partners, students and members of civil society.