GSS maintains June census date – could postpone exercise in the wake of Covid 19

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) is monitoring the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country to determine whether to postpone or maintain the June 28, 2020 date set for the conduct of the population and housing census in the interest of public health and safety.
The Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Annim, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, said the GSS would resume the conduct of masterclass training sessions in readiness for the national exercise should the date stay.

“We do not want to be overtaken by events. We are doing what it takes to prepare ourselves. However, we will use virtual platforms for our training, in line with the President’s directives to contain the spread the COVID-19,” he said.

As a result, the GSS is observing a two-week suspension of all census-related gatherings exceeding 25 people.

Census

The last time Ghana undertook a population census was 10 years ago.

While the population census will focus on the enumeration of all people in the country, the housing census will dwell on the enumeration of all living quarters (occupied and vacant).

The main aim of the 2020 population and housing census is to ensure the maintenance of demographic, socio-economic and housing benchmark data at the national, regional, district and local levels in order to ascertain changes that have occurred since the last census in 2010.

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The collected data will be compiled and analysed and findings made to inform decision-making and policy direction.

Uniqueness

Prof. Annim expressed confidence in the format adopted by the GSS, saying the census would be conducted in a decentralised manner by leveraging previous data sources to ensure complete and accurate data collection at national, regional and district levels.

That was in accordance with the United Nations Principles and Recommendations for the 2020 Round of World Census programme which required countries to leverage technological advances to improve the quality and timeliness of census results, he said.

As part of the preparations, he said, regional census implementation committees (RCICs) and district census implementation committees (DCICs) had been established in all the 16 regions and the 260 districts (271 statistical districts), respectively.

Enumeration

About 75,569 field personnel will be engaged for the exercise.

With an estimated population of 31 million, a budget of about $90m and a cost of $2.90 per capita, Ghana’s 2020 census remains one of the least expensive in Africa.

Meanwhile, there are fears that, should the COVID-19 pandemic affect the census date, the cost will be revised upwards by some 15 per cent or more, depending on the likely date on which it will be conducted.

The GSS has urged all people resident in Ghana to cooperate with census officials and present themselves for enumeration when the exercise begins.

According to Prof. Annim, the GSS would ensure that all information relating to the census would be strictly confidential and secure, to be used only to compile aggregate statistics for the key interventions necessary to improve the welfare of all people resident in the country.

Source graphiconline

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