Liberia is holding its first census since 1984. This report comes from the BBC. I particularly like the special song composed for the census: "It's about development, not taxes!" I only wish the BBC played the whole track.
In the US or Europe, a census is a boring affair. The conscientious citizen completes a questionnaire and the less conscientious are filled in by statistical guesstimation. In Africa, a well-run census is a matter of civic pride. Liberia has trained enumerators to go to every village, house and shack in the country, however small. Most are volunteers. A few years ago, I was counted in the Tanzanian census when the enumerator came to the compound I was staying in. All she got for a hard day's work was a free T-shirt, saying 'Tanzania Sensa 2002'.
Soon we should know how many Liberians there are - 3.5 million, 3.8 million? I wonder if anyone is trying to count Liberian citizens outside the country?