Sunday, July 21, 2024

GBos statistician-general re-assures census data security

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By Dawda Baldeh

Following the announcement by the Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBoS) that the official enumeration period has ended, Statistician-General Nyakasi Sanyang has reassured the public that the data collected during the census remains safe and secure.

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This comes amid concerns over the safety of the data, as the tablets used for the census were borrowed from neighbouring Senegal and are scheduled to be returned.

During a weekly press conference held on Tuesday, which concentrated on census operations, Sanyang assured the media that the data collected from individuals is securely safeguarded and not accessible to unauthorized entities.

“These tablets are borrowed from Senegal, and they will be returned after the census,” he said.

“We will clean all the information in the devices before returning them. Data security is guaranteed, and the information cannot be accessed by other individuals,” he added.

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Despite public concerns about possible leakage of private information, Sanyang expressed optimism that all information is under their control.

“The information collected is seen directly by our local servers who have the expertise to monitor all the information,” he reassured.

William Muhwava, Chief of Demographic and Social Statistics at the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has provided further insights on the practice of borrowing devices from other countries for census purposes.

He noted that The Gambia is not the first nation to adopt the strategy of using tablets from other countries for their census activities.

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“The cost of digital tools is expensive and is not good for a country to spend millions on an exercise that lasts for only 25 days. We find ways to minimize cost-effectively by borrowing or sharing cost effectively with countries that have already done their census,” he explained.

Furthermore, he cited countries where such cost-effective measures have been applied.

“We bought these gadgets from the United Nations, they used them for the census period when they returned, we took them to Togo, Namibia, and now they are in Angola,” he explained.

Muhwava justified that borrowing the gadgets for a short term will reduce the cost of the census and save a huge amount of money.

Updates on the Enumeration of Households

During the census enumeration, the GBoS reported that substantial progress has been made since their previous update.

Data synchronized from the field indicates that approximately 98% of households nationwide have been enumerated, which corresponds to about 96% of the total population of 2,528,456.

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