Uganda Gears Up for Groundbreaking Digital Census in 2024

UBOS ED, Dr. Chris Ndatira Mukiza
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In a significant leap towards modernizing demographic data collection, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) has announced substantial progress in the preparatory work for the highly anticipated Population Census scheduled for May 10, 2024.

According to Chris Mukiza, the Executive Director of UBOS, the bureau has achieved an impressive 86 percent completion rate in preparatory tasks. The remaining key tasks include mapping cities, with the exception of the already mapped Mbale, and finalizing the procurement process for over 120,000 tablets. These tablets, sourced directly from an international manufacturer, are not only cost-efficient but also tailored to meet the specific requirements of this groundbreaking census.

Speaking during a media training session coinciding with the launch of African Statistics Week, Mukiza highlighted the significance of the upcoming census, initially scheduled for August 2023 but rescheduled to address concerns such as preparatory inadequacies and delayed tablet deliveries – crucial tools for this comprehensive exercise.

The Population Census 2024 is poised to be Uganda’s first-ever digital census, marking a departure from traditional methods. Mukiza outlined key features of this transformation, including assigning a geocode to each household. This move away from the conventional area boundary-coding method will provide an interactive map on tablets during enumeration.

“The tablet digital interface will display information on characteristics, roads, schools, and boundaries, revolutionizing the data collection process,” Mukiza explained.

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To build anticipation for this groundbreaking census, Mukiza announced the official launch scheduled for November 30, to be presided over by the president. The countdown contributes to the sense of expectation surrounding the extensive data collection effort. Uganda’s last population and housing census took place in 2014.

With an estimated current population of 45.5 million and a growth rate of 30.4 percent million, UBOS is committed to providing accurate and updated demographic information. The 2024 census serves as an essential step in ensuring that Uganda’s demographic data remains current, reflecting the nation’s evolving landscape.

In the context of the African Statistical Week, Mukiza emphasized collaboration among statistical bodies on the continent to strengthen data quality, focusing on facilitating trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area.

“We want to find data about each country’s protection of production and consumption, as well as the competitive advantages they have over each other,” he said.

The week-long celebration includes various initiatives, such as corporate social responsibility activities, a student awareness symposium on statistical activities, a Geo-Information System day, and strategic engagements with key stakeholders from the government and private sector.

As UBOS strives to bolster statistical information for accelerated trade, the upcoming census stands as a pivotal moment in Uganda’s commitment to robust and digitally-driven demographic data collection, shaping the narrative for the country’s future development.

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