Census to strengthen economic diplomacy

AHEAD of the National Population and Housing Census (PHC) 2022, high-ranking government officials have emphasized the exercise’s importance to national development, top most being reaping the benefits of economic diplomacy.

During a virtual conference on the ‘National debate on the importance of PHC in national development’ organised by Watch Tanzania, Tanzania’s Ambassador to Brazil, Professor Adelardus Kilangi said the exercise was equally significant in the diplomatic world.

Prof Kilangi stated that the basic issues in economic diplomacy are investment, trade, technology transfer and various measures to improve social services, all of which require data obtained from PHC. “We use diplomatic processes to promote investment within and outside of Tanzania, including business and technology transfer, so accurate data is required to achieve all issues of economic diplomacy.

“When we meet with people to convince them to invest in Tanzania, the first question they will want to know about is statistical data, for example, the population of Tanzania, because it will help determine the size of the market and the workforce,” he said, adding that they will also inquire about education and income to determine Tanzanians’ purchasing power as well as working population.

He believes that the census is critical for businesses whose sales are dependent on individual consumers. It informs businesspeople about the population density of a given area. It includes information about their housing conditions, ages, income, educational attainment, commuting patterns and occupations.

Dr Mwigulu Nchemba, Minister for Finance and Planning, stated that accurate Census data is valuable and necessary for economic development, transportation, healthcare, education, business planning and decision making. He said Census data is used by government agencies to inform their planning, enforcement and policy decisions.

“Instead of allocating budgets by administrative areas, we should not only look at geography because there are areas that will not benefit. The census will help us to properly divide the resources we have by looking at the number of people in each area of the country,” the Finance and Planning Minister said.

Dr Nchemba went on to say that counting each other is something that happens in everyday life, so no one should stop the government from carrying out the crucial exercise. For example, he said even at home, food is cooked and divided based on the number of people.

He added that if the government does not know how many special groups exist or what their status is, it is difficult to plan their budget, therefore everyone should regard the census as a matter of everyday life, rather than a matter of the government.

According to Dr John Jingu, Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Policy Parliamentary Affairs and Coordination, data is the most valuable resource in the world today, so the census is a great wealth that will enable the government and citizens to fulfil their responsibilities well.

Dr John Jingu, Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Policy Parliamentary Affairs and Coordination

Dr Jingu, who is also the Chairman of the National Advisory Committee on PHC, stated that information and statistics about Tanzanians, how they work, age, and what they do are important for the government and various groups in society. For example, he said traders will know the size of the market, and those who want to be self-employed will know which area their service will find the most people.

“The government will be able to properly plan the various interventions needed for various groups, for example, if it is discovered that there are many children and that they will continue to increase, this is a message for the government to increase classes, increase the number of teachers and increase the number of hospitals,” he said.

Meanwhile, about 205,000 clerks of the 2022 National Population and Housing Census will from today start to be dispatched to their assigned wards, villages and suburbs.

Zanzibar Census Commissioner, Ambassador Mohammed Haji Hamza

Zanzibar Census Commissioner, Ambassador Mohammed Haji Hamza told journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the process came after the group attended thorough training and testing for successful implementation of the exercise. “The energetic clerks will reach their assigned areas for the purpose of self-introduction and familiarisation before the census day slated for Tuesday,” he said.

He added that census clerks will on Sunday start going to their respective wards and villages or suburbs so that they can familiarise themselves with the areas ahead of the official day of the exercise. He called upon local leaders and members of the public to grant full cooperation to the census officers to ensure the exercise is well accomplished for the development of the nation.

Ambassador Hamza said all preparations for the census have been completed, noting that the government is confident that the exercise will be conducted smoothly since the public is well informed about it.

The Director General of the Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics, Dr Albina Chuwa called on the census clerks to abide by ethics and avoid disclosing information which will be collected from the households.

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