The data from Ghana’s 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC), will for the first time, ensure data linkage and harmonisation among seven West African countries.
The harmonisation and improvement of statistics under the West Africa Project from 2020 to 2024 was intended to ensure efficient data production through cooperation and partnership with the National Statistics Offices and 20 Ministries Departments and Agencies in the sub-region.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia announced this when he launched the 100 days countdown to the Census Night in Accra.
The 2021 Census would be the first full digital census, which would capture the geo-spatial data of the population to inform the government’s policy formulation.
The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) is the lead agency mandated to conduct the Census and has divided the country into 51,921 enumeration areas and 131,739 localities.
The National Census, with the slogan, “You Count, Get Counted” is slated for Sunday, June 27, this year across the 260 metropolitans, municipal and district assemblies.
The Census will capture credible and comprehensive information on the citizenry to inform policy formulation and ensure the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The PHC indicators, aside the personal details of the applicant, will also capture housing and living conditions, water and sanitation, and difficulty in performing activities on daily living during the approximately 28 days.
Vice President Bawumia noted that when statistics collected were completed and analysed, it was expected to provide comprehensive and credible data to both the private and public sectors to inform policy formulation.
The data collected on the socio-economic and housing conditions would allow for the identification of vulnerable individuals, groups, and households for targeted policy interventions.
Dr Bawumia noted that while many people often think of population Censuses as only the count of persons, the full dimension of the census was much deeper.
The Census will capture gender mix, the age mix, the birth and death and migration of applicants, he stated.
“The quality of our housing, and our access to public services health and education. So we do more than just count people.
The 2021 Census will provide important data for the formulation of policies to transform the country’s economy and spur economic growth.
‘Knowing the dynamics of how the population is changing helps us in planning our education needs, where to locate health facilities, how to allocate our social services, President Bawumia thus, singled out the housing conditions module, which would provide data to assess the quality of housing, availability of utilities in the dwelling units as well as to determine housing tenure arrangements.
The module would also capture, better than before, the sanitation conditions in our communities.
Vice President Bawumia said, “I am highly impressed that the GSS has incorporated ICT module in the Census to ascertain the level of digital application and access in the country. Indeed, the Census will provide comprehensive data on ICT access and usage in the country to enhance development in the sector.
“We are interested in the penetration in the rural areas, internet usage, ownership of ICT devices, usage of mobile phones for financial transactions, and how ICT may be changing lives and affecting livelihoods.”
The Vice President called on persons living in the country to cooperate with the Census officials to ensure a successful programme, saying “We are asking for your support in the lead up to the Census Night”.
Within the next 100 days, GSS will spearhead nationwide publicity, education and advocacy campaign aimed at mobilising resources, sensitise stakeholders, develop strategic partnerships, and build public trust for the Census.
“The Census is a priority development activity and requires mobilisation of state resources and utilisation of the existing state infrastructure.
He said the government was committed to ensuring that the Ghana Statistical Service receives the required support from all Ministries, Departments and Agencies and from all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
“We thank you in advance for your support and we look forward to working with you to conduct a successful Census,” he stated.
The 2021 Census should have taken place in 2020, but the Coronavirus pandemic delayed the process.
Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, the Government Statistician and Chief Census Officer, said, with the receipt of logistics and systems, the Service was ready to commence the Census on June 27, 2021.