The Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Annim has educated the general public that census is not just about counting of people, but a national, non-partisan exercise that provides rich data to aid policy making in the country.
According to him, the census will provide data that the country will use to address a lot of issues. One of such, is the issue of housing deficit. He pointed out that currently, the projections show that about 3 million people have challenges securing proper housing.
“Census is not like elections; it’s about going to the people and asking them about the circumstances under which they live. The 2021 PHC, like previous censuses, goes beyond counting of people. In addition to counting people, it’s going to give us rich information on 13 different modules which have been captured under 127 questions. This is the only census data that is helping us tract our fertility rate over the 50-year period”.
The Government Statistician also informed that the Population and Housing Census (PHC) relies on two pivotal objectives.
“One has to do with complete coverage and the second has to do with accurate data. For purposes of complete coverage, we have to list all structures that are at different stages of completion ahead of the enumeration exercise. And this exercise has been scheduled to start from the 13th of June that gives us 21 days ahead of the start of the listing of structures. And the main date that we are all looking forward to, is the celebration of the census night”.
Census as a national Activity
Also, Prof. Annim indicated that the GSS has engaged some statesmen to publicly make pronouncements on how they used census data. He indicated that he personally engaged with two former presidents; H.E. John Agyekum Kuffour and H.E. John Dramani Mahama. These two statesmen have therefore, made public statements on the importance of the PHC.
Moreover, he pointed out that the President has agreed to launch the census night on the 28th of May 2021. This comes on the backdrop of the Vice President launching the 100 Days of the census activity on March 19, 2021.
“So, clearly, with all these statesmen throwing their weight behind the census activity, it points to the fact that it is indeed a national activity. Indeed, we’ve taken steps to ensure that it is a non-partisan activity”.
Furthermore, the Government Statistician pointed out that he has personally engaged with the Hon. Speaker of Parliament who has agreed and made a public statement on the relevance of the census. According to him, the Hon. Speaker made reference to how he utilized census data when he headed three different ministries in the past. Also, he revealed that the Speaker has given the GSS the opportunity to engage the parliament. This, according to him, will be on the need to see census as a non-partisan activity.
Last training workshop
Also, Prof. Annim stated that the GSS will conduct its main and last training workshop for field officers between 23rd and 31st May 2021. Also, he pointed out that the listing of structures will take place in the next 21 days.
“We have identified the need to put in the classroom 76, 500 field enumerators and supervisors of which 70,000 of them will be deployed to the field”.
Moreover, he explained that people should not worry about the effect of the enumeration exercise on the infection rate of the COVID-19.
“I want to mention to all persons in Ghana that we are taking all the necessary steps to ensure that the census adheres to the strict protocols of COVID-19”.
The Government Statistician also revealed that his outfit had an engagement with the Health Ministry. According to him, the ministry has given a confirmation that all 85,000 officials that will take part in the census activities will be vaccinated. Also, he indicated that the Service has procured all the necessary PPEs to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 protocols. He also expressed his gratitude to Zoomlion Ghana Limited for supplying the Service with hand sanitizers.
He further indicated that the Service has already dispatched census materials to 8 of the 16 regions and by Thursday the remaining regions will receive theirs.