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July 11 - World Population Day

"Be counted. Say what you need" it is the motto of World Population Day 2010 that is celebrated on July 11th and sponsored by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. The Census 2010, whose motto is "Everyone counts. We count on everyone" is the response of Cape Verde to these universal challenges.

For Antonio Duarte, President of the National Statistics Institute, INE, "it is a happy coincidence" because the IV Census of Population and Housing has been in preparation since 2008.

As recommended by the UNFPA for World Population Day this year, it is essential that Census 2010 emphasizes the importance of reliable, accurate and complete demographic data, which is crucial to decision-making and to reinforce the citizenship. At the same time, it will allow "monitoring the development, evaluate and realign the strategies and plans, and also support the mobilization of resources."

The information goes to the level of the smaller geographic localities and zones, and focus on the characteristics of employment, education, sanitation, living conditions, population growth, mobility of people between islands and counties, age structures, levels of poverty, urbanization, and spatial distribution of population.

According to the President of the INE, it is a photograph of the country performed at 12:00 am from June 15th to 16th, and meets the goal of the United Nations, the various Governments, and in particular of Cape Verde, in the search of how many we are, where we are and what we do, in order to know how many people will be in the future, and what will be necessary to ensure a dignified life for all.

This way, we need to count: in order to plan the necessary food and water for consumption and the food security, the classrooms and teachers who will prepare the new generations, the necessary houses to live in safe housing, the waste we produce, and the needs in terms of sanitation.

By just counting we will know the real country, the human resources available and needed, the jobs to create for our young people, and the children who are born to prepare the best future for all of them.

Meeting the Millennium Development Goals

Ten years after the approval of the eight Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, Cape Verde has proven its ability to meet the challenges proposed for 2015, and the Census will allow the country to obtain direct data of 11 out of 48 indicators set by the MDGs, particularly literacy, schooling, gender equality on education, access to drinking water and housing, and unemployment.

According to the recommendations of the United Nations, the Census 2010 introduces some variables on the living conditions of individuals and improves the data on education and economic activity. One of the first answers it should give is that the population of Cape Verde, estimated around 500,000 inhabitants will decrease due to a clear reduction of the fertility rate (three children per woman in 2005).

Indeed, improving maternal and child health, continues to be a goal for the country as the maternal mortality rate has decreased since the 90's. Ranging between 30 per 100,000 in 2003, 36.9 per 100,000 in 2004, and 15.8 per 100,000 in 2008.

This is Goal 5 of the Millennium Development Goals already achieved by Cape Verde, which aims to reduce the maternal mortality rate to 17.3 per 100,000 by 2015 and improve the number of births attended by skilled health professionals. In our case, approximately 97.5% of women who have children are receiving prenatal services.