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Results of the 2020 population and housing censuses must be used to inform development planning and decision-making


Dakar, Senegal – 27 July 2018: The results of the 2020 round of population and housing censuses must be analyzed, available, widely disseminated and timely utilized to inform development planning and decision-making at national and local levels, including investments in youth and women, to harness the demographic dividend. The 2020 round of censuses will also help to position the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to provide technical support to help countries obtain quality data and statistical information in line with international norms and standards.

In order to enable to achieve this goal UNFPA West and Central Africa Regional Office held a five-day intensive capacity building workshop on the process of the general population and housing census of West and Central Africa region and its links to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union (AU).

"Today, the availability of disaggregated, reliable and up-to-date statistics is essential for the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs to inform any response related to the principle of "leaving no one behind" in order to achieve Agenda 2063, the Africa we want.", Mr. Mabingue Ngom, UNFPA's Regional Director, said at the closing ceremony of the regional capacity-building workshop on strengthening statistical capacity that took place from 23 to 27 July 2018 in Dakar, Senegal. He emphasized the strategic importance of data and statistical culture in Africa’s development discourse and implementation.

The general population and housing census can provide data up to the finest level of geographic disaggregation. The generation, availability and utilization of such quality data will also facilitate South-South cooperation and ensure the monitoring of the operationalization of the AU Roadmap on the Demographic Dividend as well as the development and implementation of plans and programmes, at all levels, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the AU’s Agenda 2063.

The UNFPA West and Central Africa Regional Office (UNFPA WCARO), organized this regional capacity building workshop and exchange of experience for 60 participants from 16 countries in the region, including Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The target audience included countries that will implement the 2020 round of censuses during the period 2018-2021, especially: Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Chad, Central Africa Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, São Tomé & Principe, Sierra Leone and Togo. Senegal participated not only as workshop host country and also for sharing its experience in the conduct of ICT-enabled census. The 60 participants of the workshop were government officials (Census manager and/ or SDG focal point) as well as UNFPA staff from Country Offices (Population & Development Manager and/or Census Technical Advisor).

The national experts shared experiences from their respective countries with regard to census. They also made recommendations for the integration of new technologies in the census processes, and encouraged opportunities for South-South Cooperation around census.