GSS appropriate GH¢521m for 2021 housing, population census

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The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has earmarked GH¢521 million for the 2021 Housing and Population Census (HPC), the Government Statistician, Professor Samuel K. Annim, has said.

This is a little bit higher than the GH¢477 million earlier budgeted for the exercise.

Prof Annim, who disclosed this in an interview during a training workshop on the HPC, explained that the budget for the exercise had to be increased due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) demands. He said the GSS had to procure Personal Protective Equipment for the enumerators and respondents.

He said the HPC should have been conducted last year, but had to be postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government Statistician indicated that the government was solely funding this year’s HPC.

He said preparation for the exercise was underway and currently about 100 Master Trainers for the exercise were being trained.

Prof Annim said this year’s census was the sixth to be organised by the country, with the first in 1960, second 1970, third 1984, fourth 2000, and fifth 2010.

He said the 2021 HPC, dubbed E-Census, was the first electronic census to be organised by the GSS.

This, he explained, was because the GSS was using tablets or electronic means to collect data from respondents and use same to analyse it. Outlining the importance of the HPC, the Government Statistician, among other benefits, said the exercise would provide data for policy and development planning purposes.

For example, he said, it was the result of a census that could call for the creation of new districts and constituencies.

“Census is a dignifying exercise. It is an exercise of national esteem,” Prof Annim said.

Responding to the issue of cost of the 2021 HPC, he said the benefits of the exercise outweighed the cost.

He said the cost per indicator of the exercise stood at GH¢195.00.

The indicators, he mentioned, included the collection of data on sex, age, fertility, occupation and residence.

The Head of Census Methodology, Mr Owusu Kagya, in a presentation on the census, said preparation for the exercise started last year.

He said barring any unforeseen circumstances, listing for the exercise would begin on April 17, 2021, and run till April 28, 2021.

Listing, he explained, is the marking and numbering of houses and structures before the HPC begins.

Mr Kagya said the Census Night, the reference point of the census, would be May 2, 2021, and enumeration for the exercise would begin on May 3, 2021.

MrKagya disclosed that unlike the previous censuses, where it took a long time to come out with the reports, this year’s report would be ready within two or three months.

He said in 1960 it took one year for the census report to be ready and six months for the 2010 census.

Source: Ghanaian Times