The Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori Atta, has said the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) will provide a huge and variety of data that will be essential to Ghana’s development in the next 10 years.
He said the data would serve as a tool to plan, monitor and evaluate both governmental, as well as international development programmes and policies.
The Finance Minister, who made these remarks at the launch of the 30 days to the 2021 PHC, therefore, called on Ghanaians to ensure they and their households are counted and counted once to get an accurate representation of the population of Ghana.
According to him, population and housing censuses were necessary building blocks for reliable, frequent and comparable data since they offer the needed frame and disaggregation for both macro and microdata.
Citing an example, he said the upcoming census would allow Ghana to review its current 2020 per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of GH₵13,079 (USD2,337).
“The African Union’s Agenda 2063, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other development programmes have all placed heavy demands for increased availability of quality data to guide the path towards further national and global development,” he added
For his part, the Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Mr Dan Botwe, commended the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS) for the efforts it was making to collect geospatial data to make small area analysis possible which would help identify and provide a detailed breakdown of poor households in the country.
“This provision makes for better targeting of poverty alleviation measures and would enable the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to develop effective and efficient pro-poor policies, programmes, projects and agenda,” he said.
He added the 2021 PHC would also provide knowledge of population growth dynamics, which is important in planning for educational needs, where to locate health facilities, how to allocate social expenditures and identify those who need help in our society.
Mr Botwe further stated that PHC would generate important development indicators including the determination of rurality and the development of a multidimensional poverty index for all the 261 administrative districts.
“Such data are critically needed for planning and formulation of policies geared towards the eradication of poverty and all forms of inequalities in the districts and localities”, he added.
The conduct of the 2021 PHC is in accordance with Clause 3 of the Statistical Service Act, 2019 (Act 1003) and was originally scheduled to be conducted in 2020 but had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana.
The Census Night for the 2021 PHC, which marks the beginning of the enumeration phase of the census and would be the reference date for all information collected during the census, has been set to 27th June 2021.
Ishmael Batoma, ISD