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Sierra Leone launches controversial census



 Sierra Leone launches controversial census
Sierra Leone launches controversial census

1 Sierra Leone launched a national census on Friday, despite opposition groups pledging to boycott the process for fear it will be used to control electoral districts in the West African country.

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2 In a blow to the government, the World Bank also pulled out of funding the census, raising questions this week about the adequacy of the preparations.

the sun news paper headline today

3 President Julius Maada Bio announced plans for a national census last year, which he said would help the government’s development agenda.

the sun news paper headline today

4 The nation of some eight million people is one of the poorest in the world and is still reeling from the 1991-2002 civil war and the 2014-2016 West African Ebola epidemic.

5 Sierra Leone’s political opposition is deeply skeptical about the reasons for conducting a census.

6 The All Peoples Congress (APC) party this month criticized the project as a “cowardly attempt to skew the statistics” in Bio strongholds in the south and east of the country, and urged its supporters to boycott.

7 Census data is being collected by a force of 15,000 pollsters, according to the government.

8 However, the World Bank said in a letter dated Tuesday that it was withdrawing funds and technical assistance due to concerns that enumerators were poorly trained.

9 He urged the government to address this and other issues to avoid collecting poor-quality data, according to the letter, seen by AFP.

10 On Thursday, the government called the decision “shocking and unfortunate” and said in a response that it was not aware of any major technical problems that could affect the census.

11 Source Credit: TheGuardian

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