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Ghana's 2021 census scheduled for June 27

BY: Emmanuel Bruce
Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, Government Statistician, Ghana Statistical Service
Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, Government Statistician, Ghana Statistical Service

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has scheduled the 2021 Population and Housing Census for Sunday, June 27, 2021.

The census was expected to take place in 2020 but had to be rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ahead of the exercise, the Vice-President, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, will today launch the countdown, dubbed “100 days to 2021 Population and Housing Census”.

The countdown is a series of activities which will be rolled out by the GSS in the next 100 days to sensitise the public to the census.

The Census Advisor to the Government Statistician, Mr Kofi Agyeman-Duah, told the Daily Graphic that the GSS had made all the preparations for the census.

He said census was a process, and the GSS had, therefore, been preparing for its night for at least two years.

Mr Agyeman-Duah said the process was divided into three main phases, comprising the deployment of field staff to demarcate the whole country into smaller units, draw digital maps, and take the geographical position of all localities; the development of relevant questionnaires which would be used to collect the data; and then the testing of the questionnaire on three occasions.

All procurements done

Mr Agyeman-Duah said the GSS had within the period also procured all the materials needed for the census.

“This one will be a digitised census, so we will be using tablets to collect the information. As the information is being captured, it will be transmitted to a central server at the GSS, so in real time, we will know what is happening,” he stated.

He said the GSS was also in the process of recruiting about 75,000 staff for the exercise.

Out of this number some will be national trainers and regional trainers, and the rest would be on the field to collect the data.

Mr Agyeman-Duah said the GSS had already recruited the national trainers who were being trained.

Census night

He said the census night, which had been scheduled for June 27, 2021, was just a reference night, which did not mean all the data would be collected on that night.

“The actual work of data gathering will start a day after the census night, the night used as a reference day. So the census will capture the situation of the country in terms of housing and people in the country, using that night as the reference.

“This means that if someone arrived in the country a day after the census night, he or she will not be captured, if someone also dies just days after the census night, he will be captured. Even if we use two weeks to gather all the data, what the census is supposed to give you is a reflection of the situation as of the census night,” he explained.

Advice to public

Mr Agyeman-Duah urged the public to participate in the census, saying it would help the government plan for its citizens.

“In every home, if you don't know the number of people you have in your household, you will not be able to plan for them. Knowing the numbers and what they speak to will help the government plan for the country,” he stated.

He also gave an assurance that all COVID-19 protocols would be observed in all the processes leading to the census, and that the exercise would not be a source of the spread of the virus.