Seven local companies are bidding to supply 180,000 envelope bags for the upcoming national census. The purchase is a part of Central Statistics Agency logistics preparation for the census.
The Agency has a planned budget of 3.1 billion birr to carry out the population and housing census, which is expected to start in November 2017. The census is expected to cost around USD 123 million with the government covering 60 percent of the cost; the rest would be covered by development partners.
“We are looking into offers made by local companies,” Ashenafi Alemayehu, director of Procurement and Property at CSA told The Reporter.
As part of its preparation to conduct the Census it is to be recalled that the Agency is also procuring 180,000 digital tablet computers through Public Procurement & Property Disposal Service. The tablets, which are estimated to cost one billion birr, are yet to be purchased.
Their actual purchase schedule is delayed by one month as the purchase process is being hit by controversy. Three companies, namely Tecno Mobile, Lenovo and Simbo Resource, have already filed their compliant to Public Property Administration Agency.
“We are ordered to give priority for the complaint,” a source from the Agency told The Reporter.
“We already discussed with the Procurement Agency to finalize the purchase process as soon as possible,” Asalifew Abera, acting director of the Central Statistics Agency, said.
The Agency’s plans to digitalize data collecting which is expected to cut down the number of manpower and previous long processes. In addition, there will be GIS mapping which will take up to 23 percent of the census budget.
According the country’s constitution, census takes place every decade. The first, which was done in 1984, estimated the population to be 42.6 million. Ten years later, the figure was up to 53.5 million. The third census took place in 2007, and the population had jumped to 73.8 million.
The CSA projected the population to reach 94.3 million by the end of the current fiscal year.
Just last year, a national census commission was established to look after and supervise the census. The Statistics Agency, in this respect, will carry out the preparation of the logistics such as census maps, questionnaires and data analysis.
As part of its preparation to the bigger census, the Statistics Agency has already conducted a pilot census in 220 selected places using tablets. By that time close to 350 people were deployed to carry out the census.