UBOS receives 100,000 tablets ahead of the national census

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Chris Ndatira Mukiza, the Executive Director of UBOS.

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | The Uganda National Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) has received the initial shipment of tablets intended for use in the upcoming National Population and Housing Census, totaling 120,000 in quantity.

Chris Mukiza, the Executive Director of UBOS, announced that a consignment of 100,000 tablets has been delivered by an undisclosed international supplier. The remaining 20,000 tablets are expected to be supplied later by a local vendor. The procurement of these tablets amounted to more than Shs 132 billion.

Last month, UBOS requested an additional Shs 23.7 billion to cover tax obligations related to the tablets after the Ministry of Finance declined to grant a tax waiver.

According to available information, in August of last year, UBOS procured a total of 38,000 tablets at a price of $540 (approximately Shs 2 million) each, along with an additional 82,000 tablets priced at $164 (Shs 620,000) each.

Following the census, these tablets are slated to be repurposed for use by the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) and the Electoral Commission (EC) for the forthcoming 2026 general elections.

“The tablets have reached the country; we are waiting for the last batch, which will arrive next week. We have started provisioning and installing software and applications on the system. We have less than 30 days to go and I think, by the census night (May 10, 2024), we will be fully prepared to conduct a very successful census,” he said.

UBOS seeks additional Shs 23.7b to fulfill tax obligations for census tablets
UBOS seeks additional funding for census tablets tax obligations.

Uganda’s most recent population census took place in 2014, revealing a population of 34 million people at that time. Presently, the estimated population of Uganda exceeds 41 million individuals.

Mukiza noted that the geo-mapping of household and enumeration area boundaries has reached 97.6 per cent coverage across the entire country.

Additionally, a week-long training session for census technical officers from local government and cities was recently concluded at Speke Resort.

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“We have completed 97.6 per cent of the entire country. We are remaining at 2.4 per cent. We have given a one-week ultimatum to all district representatives to complete the enumeration of areas before the release of budgets for the districts,” he said.

Mukiza highlighted that districts with incomplete or insufficiently mapped data include Kikuubo, Kitgum, Shema, Ntungamo, Mityana, Buvuma, Wakiso, Bugiri, Buyende, Kweni Abim, Kalenga, and Kotindo. He emphasized that district planners have committed to returning to their respective districts to finalize the enumeration process.

“Training will help them learn how to link households and questionnaires, understand the concepts they will employ, how to approach the respondents, and how to understand them in a bid to get data,” he said.