Maputo — Nine days after the beginning of the IV Populations and Housing Census in Mozambique over 11 million people have already been counted across the country, announced this Friday the President of the National Statistics Institute (INE), Rosario Fernandes.
"After the first nine days, 11 million compatriots and other residents, including foreigners, have been counted," said the INE President, speaking shortly after the collection of census information from Ivone Soares, head of the parliamentary bench of Renamo, the main opposition party, in Mozambique.
He explained that at the end of the process another teams will be dispatched to collect samples for the calculation of omission rates.
"Therefore, preliminary results will be published by the end of the year and the final results in July next year," he said.
He added that the whole process has been running smoothly with no major problems.
Un update sent by the INE to AIM in the morning of this Friday shows that the census has already counted about 13,4 million people. INE projections for 2017 point to the figure of 27.1 million inhabitants.
For her part, Ivone Soares urged all Mozambicans to cooperate with the census, explaining that the whole exercise is crucial for the design of adequate public policies and decision making processes.
"There can only be better development planning if we know many we are and where we are," she said.
As for the recent meeting between Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, and Afonso Dhlakama, the leader of Renamo, the main oppostition party in Mozambique, Soares said it is an important step for ensuring a lasting peace in Mozambique.
"We were all happy with the meeting. We hope that by the end of this year, all pending matters will be resolved so we can focus on municipal elections that will take place in 2018 and the general elections of 2019.
Both leaders met on Sunday in Gorongosa district, in the central province of Sofala. A press release issued in the evening by the President's Office states that "The two leaders discussed and agreed on the next steps of peace process, which they hope will be completed by the end of the year".
The document adds "they agreed that they would continue their dialogue and closely monitor the work of the two committees, with a view to a new meeting soon to prepare the final steps".