President Akufo-Addo has called on all persons in Ghana to avail themselves of the headcount in the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) that commenced last night.
He said the exercise was an all-important process to “enable us to plan effectively for the development of the country,” urging all persons in Ghana on the Census night, June 27, to ensure they got counted.
The President said this when a team from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), led by Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, the Government Statistician, called at his official residence at the Jubilee House to enumerate the first family.
“It is extremely important that each one of us, everybody who was here on census night, no matter where you come from, no matter your ethnic origin, no matter your religious persuasion, no matter your political affiliation, so long as you are a human being who was here, on census night, you are entitled to be counted,” he said.
The President officially became the first person to be enumerated on the first day of the 2021 PHC, after the celebration of the census night.
The national census was postponed in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The exercise is the first to be fully digitalized in West Africa.
It would use electronic gadgets and the internet to capture and transfer data for analysis.
President Akufo-Addo encouraged the public to cooperate with census officials and ensure that they gave the enumerators all the required information.
“It is an extremely important exercise and I am appealing to each one of you, cooperate with the enumerators… they are doing an exceptionally sensitive and important job and they need the cooperation of every one of us,” he said.
“I’m appealing to you to cooperate with them and let us have a successful 2020/2021 census,” he said.
The President gave the assurance that the information to be collected would be treated as confidential.
“I do not doubt the integrity and credibility of those who are conducting this census, that they would keep to the provisions of the Act, under which they are operating,” he assured.
He urged the Government Statistician to ensure that the headcount all unified demographics in the country.
“The process must be an exercise of unification and not disaggregation, not putting people apart,” he said, in reaction to queries by sections of the population that the census sought to marginalize their social groupings.
President Akufo-Addo was enumerated with his wife, Rebecca, and were taken through the process for almost 45 minutes, answering some 127 questions posed to them by enumerators.
Prof Annim, on his part, said the data collected was strictly confidential and would not be used for targeting persons, or specific groups of people.
He said the information would be used only at the aggregated levels and put out for analytical work.
“It will de-identify all personal information and will be an anonymized data, not for tax purposes but only for statistical reasons,” he said.
Prof Annim further allayed the public’s fears that the exercise meant to marginalize their social groupings, saying it was a non-discriminatory and all-inclusive activity.
He said the data would help in analysis based on demographics and other social characteristics for the speedy socio-economic development of the country.
Ghana carried out its last census in 2010 and the final result pegged her population at 24.6 million.