Despite World Bank Withdrawal, Census Starts Today

The Statistician General, Professor Osman Sankoh and the Minister of Planning and Economic Development Dr. Francis Kai Kai have both maintained that the Mid-Term National Population Census will go ahead as endorsed and pronounced by His Excellency Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

This affirmatio was made at the usual weekly press briefing on Thursday 9th December, 2021 in the Ministry of Information and Communications Conference Hall.

According to Global Times, Dr. Francis Kai Kai confirmed advising His Excellency Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio on the need for a Mid-term Census as provided for in Part II subsection 2 of the Census Act of 2002. He however expressed disappointment at the withdrawal of support by the World Bank at the eleventh hour after investing so much in the process since 2018.

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Dr. Kai Kai, nevertheless assured that the government would soon come out with an official response to the World Bank withdrawal letter which was addressed to him and the Chief Minister Jacob Jusu Saffa, among others.

The Statistician General, Professor Osman Sankoh confirmed that the World Bank had been in full support of the census process since 2018 with huge funding in the area of technical support and hence expressed dismay at the institution’s decision to withdraw on the eve of the census.

“We remain grateful to the World Bank and other donor partners including UNFPA, UNECA, MRU, Malawi National Statistics and Kenya for their support” Professor Osman Sankoh maintained. He furthered that the World Bank had fully participated in all meetings and agreed on the road map, most of which have been achieved.

“At the moment during the process, the World Bank even rated Statistics Sierra Leone above 95% in its preparedness …” Professor Sankoh disclosed, adding that he was therefore shocked at the decision by the World Bank to withdraw support but equally expressed optimism that the latter has not totally withdraw support but equally expressed optimism that the latter has not totally withdrawn its support.

“The World Bank and other donor partners were fully aware of the timeline” Professor reiterated and therefore assured Sierra Leoneans that Statistics Sierra Leone now has the capacity to go ahead with the census and come out with a clean reliable data for national development.

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