The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has made a passionate appeal to Ghanaians to support the 2021 Ghana Population and Housing Census (PHC), indicating that the exercise is purely a national project devoid of any partisan considerations.
In his address at the launch of the ’30 days to Census Night Countdown’ at the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel (28 May 2021), President Akufo-Addo said the PHC which commences on 27 June 2021 will be the first digital census in Ghana’s history, which will guarantee the availability of real census data during and after the exercise.
“The census does not seek to divide or polarize citizenry around matters that are important to us individually and collectively. As President of the Republic, I am aware of several concerns and sensitivities that some people may have regarding boundary disputes, political and religious polarization. However, the census will be an independent, and professional process whose outcomes will not be influenced by any of these. Indeed, the census process may help resolve some or all of these issues,” Akufo-Addo said.
“So please bear with the census officials as they go about their business and provide complete and accurate information to them because they will count you as and where you are,” Akufo-Addo adviced.
The fourth estate of the realm, the media, according to President Akufo-Addo, will play a vital role in the success or otherwise of the PHC. In that regard, the President admonished the media, as well as social media users, that the 30-day countdown period, “is not the time to create controversy and confusion around an important national development exercise.”
“Census data will save lives and livelihoods. With that in mind, I want to encourage you to do the right thing and support the publicity, education and advocacy activities by conveying only reliable information and facilitating constructive discussions on issues around the census process. It is our civic duty to do all that is required to support this national development programme,” President Akufo-Addo urged the media.
Government Statistician, Professor Kobina Annim in his welcome remarks indicated that the Ghana Statistical Service is ready to execute the 2021 Population and Housing Census. He added that all logistical requirements have been provided to all census officials to ensure a smooth exercise between the 27th of June and the 11th of July 2021.
Dan Botwe, Minister responsible for Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development (LGD&RD) in a brief remark assured the Ghana Statistical Service of the full support and cooperation of his ministry to make the 2021 PHC a success.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who is also the Chairperson of the National Census Steering Committee, in his address at the gathering said the 2021 PHC will be the most successful census in Ghanaian History. He added that his ministry awaits the outcome of the PHC to inform decision-making going forward.
Target of 2021 census
It’s the target of those spearheading the 2021 Population and Housing Census (Ministry of Finance, Ghana Statistical Service, Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Information) that the data they gather after the PHC will be used to influence decision making in twelve (12) thematic areas. The areas are; Decision Making and Policy; Development; Housing; Geography; Water and Sanitation; Utilities and Energy; Businesses; Education; Demography; ICT; Health and Well-being; Labour Force and Socio-Economy.
Ghana’s census history
Ghana has been conducting decennial censuses since 1891. The first census in the Gold Coast was conducted under the British colonial administration. Subsequently, censuses were conducted every 10 years except for 1941, where World War 2 prevented the conduct of a census. The last census before independence took place in 1948. The first census conducted in Ghana after independence was in 1960. There have been five (5) post-independence censuses conducted in Ghana. The last two censuses (2000 and 2010) have been Population and Housing Censuses making the 2021 PHC the third to be conducted in Ghana.
The 2021 PHC
The conduct of the Ghana 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) will provide updated demographic, social and economic data to support national development activities and track the implementation of global and continental development goals including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), International Conference on Population and Development Goals, and Africa’s Agenda 2063.
The 2021 PHC will produce data on who we are, how many we are, as well as where and how we live. The data is expected to be used by government, private sector, businesses, civil society organisations, development partners, special interest groups, academia, media, households, and other stakeholders to conduct research and generate information for general use and to inform specific policies and their implementation.
Source: Asaase Radio 99.5