The Information Minister, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on thursday inaugurated the National Census Publicity, Education and Advocacy Committee (NEPEAC) with a charge to members to ensure that every individual in Ghana is counted in the 2020 National Population and Housing Census.
The 20-member committee will provide the overall policy direction, resource mobilisaion and strategic guidance on all aspects of the 2020 Population and Housing Census.
The committee, chaired by Mr Oppong Nkrumah and comprised of institutional representations including the Ghana Statistical Service, Information Services Department, Ghana News Agency, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and National Commission for Civic Education, will serve as Ambassadors for the 2020 Census and lead in advocacy and publicity activities.
The committee will be in existence till the end of 2021, and expected to meet once in every two months at minimum to review its activities, discuss and address implementation challenges to ensure a successful Census next year.
The Information Minister, who administered the Oaths of Office and Secrecy to members of the committee at its inaugural meeting in Accra on Thursday, underlined the relevance of next year’s Census to national development, and solicited their support and co-operation for a successful exercise.
For a Census to be successful, the Minister believed that publicity was crucial because it would drive the citizenry to buy into the Census programme and avail themselves to provide the needed information to guide policy direction.
The Census, he said, would provide a reliable database for policy reviews and ensure systematic improvement in the implementation of Government’s ongoing policies and interventions such as the Planting for Food and Jobs, Nation Builders Corps, Livelihood Empowerment Programme against Poverty, Youth in Agriculture, and others that would be developed in the course of the next decade.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah assured of government’s commitment to provide the requisite logistical and financial resources to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) to conduct the Census.
“The President of the Republic of Ghana is committed to supporting the GSS to conduct the 2020 Population and Housing Census. This has even become more relevant in view of the creation of six new regions and over 40 new districts. The Census would provide in-depth information to guide the growth of these new entities,” the Minister explained.
The Minister said the second Trial Census will begin on November 18, 2019, in parts of the Kpone Katamanso Municipality in the Greater Accra Region, Aowin Municipality in the Western North Region, Ekumfi District in the Central Region and Krachi-Nchumuru in the Oti Region.
Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, the Government Statistician, said the Trial Census would sharpen the preparation towards the 2020 PHC, adding there was ongoing training to equip the field officers with the requisite skills for the exercise.
Ghana conducts Population and Housing Census every 10 years to collect data about the population living in the country to guide policy decision-making. The first Census was conducted in 1891 in the then Gold Coast.