Data from Ghana’s 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC), will for the first time be linked and harmonised with seven West African countries.
The Harmonising and Improving Statistics in West Africa Project (2020−2024) is intended to ensure efficient data production through cooperation and partnership with National Statistics Offices in the seven West African countries, as well as 20 Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia announced this when he launched the 100 days countdown to the Census Night in Accra.
The “100 Days Countdown to the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) is intended to prepare the citizenry for this most important national programme of gathering data on the population and housing situation in Ghana.
Among other innovations, the 2021 PHC, which begins on the night of Sunday, June 27, will be the first fully digital census, with the use of tablets for data capture instead of traditional paper questionnaires. This will the country from the printing of over seven million household questionnaires.
It will also use Geographic Positioning System (GPS) to capture the location of all structures and employ interactive area maps for accurate identification of enumeration and supervision areas.
The questionnaires have also been expanded to include comprehensive information on key areas to support the tracking of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators such as housing and living conditions and water and sanitation.
Speaking during the launch on Friday, March 19, 2021, in Accra, the President indicated that the next 100 days are very important to the conduct of the country’s 3rd Population and Housing Census, which goes beyond the mere counting of people.
“Despite a couple of slips in the conduct of Population Censuses in Ghana in our modern history, Ghana has been fairly consistent in counting, knowing and understanding its population size, structure and dynamics.
“While many people often think of Population Censuses as only the count of persons, the full dimension of the census goes much deeper. How many are we, what is the gender mix, the age mix, the birth and death and migration, what we do for a living, even where we live, 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 Ghana’s economy and spur economic development. 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 expenditures and identify those who need help the most in our society,” he emphasised.
Touching on the importance of the various modules in the survey, Vice President Bawumia singled out the housing conditions module, which he said “will 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 will also capture, better than before, the sanitation conditions in our communities.”
He commended the Ghana Statistical Service for incorporated the ICT module in the Census to ascertain the level of digital application and access in the country.
“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.”
Vice President Bawumia called on persons living in Ghana 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 to mobilise 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. As such, the President is committed to ensuring that the Ghana Statistical Service receives the required support from all Ministries, Departments and Agencies and all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.”
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD