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JUST IN: 2021 census to cost GH¢521m – Ken Ofori-Atta

Ghana’s 2021 population and housing census will cost GH¢521 million, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has said.

Mr Ofori-Atta told a forum in Accra on Friday, 28 May 2021 that “of the budget of GH¢521.3 million, the government has already disbursed GH¢467.2 million” for the conduct of the census.

“We will continue to ensure that the needed funds are provided to ensure a successful implementation”, he noted

Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pleaded with Ghanaians not to spread misinformation or share untruths or controversial material about the upcoming census.

He noted that the data collected will “enable us to measure the social and economic status of our nation, and to receive the invaluable inputs necessary for charting the roadmaps for achieving the targets and indicators envisioned in our national development agenda”.

Nana Akufo-Addo noted that his government remains committed to evidence-based planning and decision-making across all spheres of development and will use this census data to gauge the extent to which “we have made progress on our national development agenda.”

The president said these at the launch of the 30-day countdown to the census night in Accra on Friday.

He stressed that the census will ensure that the country has the information needed to breathe life into its key constitutional provisions on equity and the promotion of interests of the marginalised and disadvantaged in society, in keeping with the governance structure.

The census night is set for 27th June and persons on transit and in short-stay institutions such as hotels, guest houses and hospital, will also be counted on this night.

However, the enumeration of persons in households and long-stay institutions will be enumerated from 28th June to 11th July.

Read President Akufo-Addo’s full speech below:

GHANA 2021 POPULATION AND HOUSING CENSUS KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY H.E. NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA ON THE OCCASION OF THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE 30-DAYS COUNTDOWN TO THE CENSUS NIGHT.

Fellow Ghanaians, Distinguished guests, Members of the press, Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to join you today as we begin the final preparations for Ghana’s 2021 Population and Housing Census. We were unable to conduct the Census in March last year, exactly 10 years since the previous one in 2010 as recommended by the United Nations, due to COVID-19 related challenges.

We are now all set to continue the national tradition of conducting censuses successfully. Census officials have been competitively recruited and are undergoing comprehensive and skilful training and preparations to be ready for the exercise. Field data collection will start with the listing of structures from 13th June.

The Census Night is set for 27th June; persons on transit and in short-stay institutions such as hotels, guest houses and hospital in-patients will also be counted on this night. However, the enumeration of persons in households and long-stay institutions will be enumerated from 28th June to 11th July. It is important for everyone to remember the Census Night because they will be counted according to where they spend the Census Night in Ghana.

I also want to emphasise that you do not have to move or change your location, Census officials will visit all structures and places of residence and count ALL persons who spend the Census Night in Ghana regardless of their residence status.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my government remains committed to evidence-based planning and decision making across all spheres of our development. We shall use this Census data as we have the previous ones to gauge the extent to which we have made progress on our national development agenda.

Indeed, the data collected will enable us to measure the social and economic status of our nation, and to receive the invaluable inputs necessary for charting the roadmaps for achieving the targets and indicators envisioned in our national development agenda (The Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies 2017-2024: An Agenda for Jobs – Creating Prosperity and Equal Opportunity for All), Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ladies and Gentlemen, this year’s census is unique in several important ways;

(1) It will be the first fully digital Census to be conducted in Ghana. Use of tablets and internet to capture and transfer the information respectively will guarantee delivery of high quality and faster results to support the decision-making process;

(2) Use of rich geospatial information, including capturing the Geographic Positioning System (GPS) coordinates of all structures will improve resource targeting to areas that need them the most;

(3) Use of online dashboards and comprehensive data quality assurance procedures, including the use of real-time enumeration and data quality monitoring to ensure every structure and person is counted, which will guarantee complete and accurate data to ensure that we Leave No One Behind in sharing national resources;

(4) Information will be collected in several new and important areas such as housing and living conditions, water and sanitation, and difficulty in performing activities of daily living, information that will further support the tracking of key national and global development goals;

(5) Halve the period between end of data collection and release of results; and

(6) It will be the first time we shall receive census information tabulated by our Constituencies to improve progress tracking within this important governance structure.

Ladies and Gentlemen, further, in the spirit of leaving no one behind, the census shall feature several new areas and focus on the disadvantaged members of our society, such as persons living with disabilities (PLWDs), orphanhood and vulnerable children, the elderly and even street of 5 families.

Our constitution is emphatic that the fruits of nationhood and progress must be accessible to all without discrimination, and for equitable provision of social and other services. The Census data will provide us with information related to distances to hospitals, schools, market centres, and even major service roads as well as adequacy of housing stock.

The Census will ensure that we have information needed to breathe life into our key Constitutional provisions on equity and the promotion of interests of the marginalised and disadvantaged in our society, in keeping with our governance structure.

The planning and release of the Census results will be based on our 272 statistical districts, which includes all the sub─metros, in order to ensure the availability of reliable information for decision making at the district and lower levels, including the already identified 131,739 localities.

Ladies and Gentlemen; I take this opportunity to urge all persons, both Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians residents, who will be in Ghana on the Census Night to be ready to welcome census officials into their communities and places of residence and provide the necessary information. Great efforts have been taken to ensure that the census enumerators are recruited from and will work in the communities where they usually live.

The Government has also taken all necessary steps to ensure that the Census will take place in a safe and secure environment and with minimum or no disruption to the daily activities of all. Accordingly, security personnel will be detailed to continuously patrol all areas to maintain law and order during the exercise.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Census process does not seek to divide or polarise Ghanaians around matters that are important to us individually and collectively as a nation. As your leader I am aware of several concerns and sensitivities that people may have, including boundary disputes and religious and political polarisations.

However, the Census remains an independent and professional process, whose outcomes will not be influenced by any of these. Indeed, the Census process may help to resolve some or all of these issues. So please bear with the Census officials as they go about their business and provide complete and accurate information to them because they will count you as and where you are. Remember: the information you provide to them is strictly confidential; it will be handled only by persons who have taken the “Oath of Secrecy” under the Statistical Service Act 2019 (Act 1003).

Fellow Ghanaians, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, I want to urge all national and local government administrative structures to support the Census process without reservations. I also urge all our political and religious leaders, the business community and private sector, and the civil society to use their various platforms to unequivocally support the Census process for the sake of our country’s progress.

It is in this spirit that I also want to make special mention of H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor and H.E. John Dramani Mahama, former presidents of the Republic of Ghana, for separately sending out clear messages in support of the Census exercise, which is a testament of its non-partisan nature. My government and Ghanaians fittingly thank them for their public service and for laying progressive foundations for evidence-driven decisions during their respective tenures of office. I would also like to make a special plea to the media, including the social media users.

This is not the time to create controversy and confusion around this important national development activity. Census data will save lives and livelihoods. With that in mind, I want to encourage you to do the right thing and support publicity, education and advocacy activities by conveying only reliable information and facilitating constructive discussions on issues around the Census process.

Ladies and Gentlemen, as I conclude I wish to reiterate the importance of the Census for the development and growth of our nation, and for us to achieve our vision of a brighter future for all our people and country.

In a nutshell: Census is an unmeasurable important national exercise that is done only once every decade, hence the need for it to be everyone’s business. It is, therefore, the civic duty of each and every one of us to do all that is required to support this priority national development programme because we cannot afford to miss the target or get it wrong.

I would also like to express my government’s gratitude to the 2021 National Census Steering Committee which is chaired by the Hon. Minister for Finance, the National Census Publicity, Education and Advocacy Committee, chaired by the Hon. Minister for Information and the Ghana Statistical Service staff and management, key government officials, development partners and stakeholders who have supported the census process in one way or another. It is my prayer that your efforts will not be in vain.

With these remarks, I declare the 30-day countdown to the 2021 Ghana Population and Housing Census officially launched. During this period, Census officials will continue to prepare the public to be ready to be counted appropriately through several publicity, education and advocacy activities using all media.

I plead with everyone not to spread misinformation or share untruthful or even controversial material on the Census process. Please use the contacts provided in various publicity materials to reach out to the census officials whenever in doubt.

We are launching the countdown with the 2021 PHC advocacy video which is meant to elicit public support for this national nonpartisan exercise by outlining the reasons why we all need to cooperate with census officials and be counted.

We implore all to be census advocates the same manner as our distinguished leaders and statesmen are doing with their public statements in this video. May God bless you all and may God continue to bless and guide Ghana.

YOU COUNT, GET COUNTED

 

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