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Statistical Service Board charged to provide stats for national development

BY: Kweku Zurek
Statistical Service Board charged to provide stats for national development
Statistical Service Board charged to provide stats for national development

The Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr John Ampontuah Kumah has charged the newly inaugurated governing board of the Ghana Statistical Service to continue to lead the staff to provide high-quality statistics to guide the country’s development.

He was also hopeful that the board would promote the effective use of statistics, stimulate research activities, provide guidance to the Government Statistician and the government in the areas of official statistics to guide Ghana’s economic growth.

The Minister who inaugurated the board today (May 5, 2022) said the seven-member board though relatively small was made up of persons with expert and diverse knowledge in statistical production and the management of human resources.

"Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, today’s ceremony is being conducted in accordance with Section 5 (2) of the Statistical Service Act, 2019: Act 1003 which mandates the President of the Republic, in consultation with the Council of State to appoint you to serve as a member of the governing board of GSS.

"This Board though relatively small is made up of persons with expert and diverse knowledge in statistical production and the management of human resources.

"These two key skills are needed in the transformation agenda embarked upon by the immediate past Board, which we believe would enhance the status of GSS in the international statistical eco-system. We further believe that your tenure of office would bring significant improvement to the field of data production for National Development".

Tasks

Dr Kumah also tasked the board to work towards expanding the establishment post of the Service by ensuring experienced Senior officers lead the production of statistics; supervise the preparation of a suited Scheme of Service, guide the conduct of all the censuses and surveys outlined in the Harmonizing and Improving Statistics in West Africa Project for the next three years; facilitate work within the National Statistical System and initiate the process for the drafting of the Legislative Instrument for the Statistical Service Act, 2019: Act 1003.

Board

The Board, which is chaired by Dr. Grace A. Bediako, has Professor Samuel Kobinah Annim, Ms Ashiokai Ashong, Dr Evans Aggrey-Darko, Dr Josephine Dzahene-Quarshie, Mr Philip Abradu-Otoo and Prof Robert Darko Osei as members.

The Chairman of the Board, Dr Bediako, on behalf of the members, expressed their appreciation for the confidence reposed in them by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to serve the nation.

She said the Board was ever ready to provide the Government with advice on current statistical developments and what was required to meet the outstanding obligations from Ghana’s decentralized planning system and its regional and international commitments, as well as further enhance the image of the Ghana Statistical Service at home and abroad.

Profile of Ghana Statistical Service Board Members

1. Dr. Grace Bediako
Dr. Bediako holds a PhD in Demography from Philadelphia University. She has had working relationship with the UN Statistics Commission in various capacity until she joined Statistical Service in 2014 as the Government Statistician. She GSS for a period of eight years before joining NDPC as an Advisor and ended her period as the Ag. Commissioner General of NDPC. In 2017, she was appointed the Board Chair of GSS and has retained same position to ensure continuity of Service. Dr. Bediako is an alumina of University of Ghana.

2. Prof Samuel Kobinah Annim
Prof Annim has been the Government Statistician since March 2019 and he has distinguished himself since then. He joined the Service at a time that the heat was on in finalizing the Census processes. He holds a PhD in Economics from Manchester University and he spent his working life teaching Economics at the University of Cape Coast and other tertiary institutions. In Cape Coast, he worked in various capacities ending his engagement as the Director of Research, Innovation and Consultancy. He is an alumina of University of Cape Coast.

3. Ms. Ashiokai Akrong
Ms. Akrong is an award-winning HR Practitioner who had worked in various Fortune 500 Companies in the United States, United Kingdom and Africa. She is currently the HR Director for Vodafone Ghana. She holds an MA in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota. She is also an alumina of University of Ghana

4. Dr. Evans Aggrey-Darko
Dr. Aggrey-Darko is currently the Chief Director of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Ghana where he taught Political Science till his appointment as Chief Director in 2017. His research interests are in Public Policy, Parliamentary Affairs and Political Theory.
5. Dr. Josephine Dzahene-Quarshie
Dr. Dzahene-Quarshie is a Professor of Modern Languages with specialization in Swahili from University of London and has been working with the University of Ghana since 1991. She holds a PhD in African Studies and is currently the Director of Confucius Institute at Legon. She has over 24 research publications to her credit.

6. Mr. Philip Abradu-Otoo
Mr. Abradu-Otoo is currently the Director of Research at the Bank of Ghana. He has over 30 years experience working as an Economist in Bank of Ghana and IMF. He holds an MSc in Economics from the University of Warwick and is an alumina of University of Ghana.

7. Prof Robert Darko Osei
Prof Osei is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Statistical and Social and Economics Research and also serves as the Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Ghana. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Nottingham and an MSc in Quantitative Development Economics from University of Warwick. Robert Is currently a Board Member of Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited and a co-chair of a new initiative known as the Digital Agricultural Innovations and Services Initiative which is being jointly managed by J-PAL ( Based in MIT, USA) and Center fir Effective Global Action (based in UC Berkeley, USA).

Efficient use of resources

The Minister also entreated the board to explore other ways to financially strengthen the Service given that the vast majority of its funding had been spent on the 2021 Population and Housing Census.

"Please note that the Government through the World Bank, provided the Statistical Service with an amount of $150 million for the conduct of the census and to harmonize and strengthen data collection systems in Ghana and seven West African Countries. We recognize that a considerable amount was spent on the 2021 Population and Housing Census; so we entreat you to ensure the efficient use of the remaining resources as other initiatives are explored to financially strengthen the Service," Dr Kumah said.