The Government of Ethiopia is set to start the 4th national census next April, said the Central Statistics Agency (CSA) of Ethiopia.
Starting mid-April, the national census is planned to be completed within 15 days. Meanwhile the result of the census is expected to be revealed in five months. Currently some estimate the total population of Ethiopia around 104 million, though the CSA’s estimate shows less than that 100 million.
The national census has to take place every ten year, according to the constitution. Meanwhile this round has delayed by two years, mainly because of the political instability the country went through for the past few years.
The fact that there are currently clashes and displacements in some parts of the country resulting over a million people in temporary shelters could be a challenge for undertaking proper national census, according to some observers.
The government has invested so far around 1.7 billion birr (around $62 million) including the purchasing of 180,000 tablets purchase from Huawei and power banks.148,000 people will be engaged in the census across the nation with 37,000 supervisors.
To undertake the census so far 150,000 maps for both urban and rural areas of the country is prepared by the CSA, according to Friday night report ESAT, which quoted CSA’s public relations head.
Recently the Ethiopian parliament has established a national census commission led by the Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen. The Commission has 20 members including 9 ministers and other regional government officials.
Because of the ethnic politics, which has been promoted in the country for over two decades, census in Ethiopia has been politicized. During the last census, the result related to the number of Amhara ethnic group was one of the controversial one.
Against the previous forecast the number of Amhara people has declined by over two million people, according to the 2007 population and housing census result, which the then CSA chief described as “may be counting error”.
Meanwhile, many Amhara politicians refused to accept the result claiming that the size of the population was declined deliberately by the regime dominated by the group (the Tigray peoples Liberation Front – TPLF), which introduced an ethic federalism to the country with ‘its narrative’ that says, the Amhara people were oppressing the rest of Ethiopian people.
Such allegations in relation to the previous election results and the approaching of the May 2020 national election of Ethiopia also make the result of the upcoming national census controversial as the previous one,if it takes place as planned.
The total cost of the 2007 Census was estimated at around $73,300,000. However, the final cost was around US$ 74,000,000. The larger portion of the total budget, 73 percent, was covered by the Government of Ethiopia, amounting to $54,000,000. The balance was covered from the contributions of the Development Partners.