A seven-member District Census Implementation Committee [DCIC] with the mandate to oversee the successful conduct of Ghanas 2020 population and housing census [PHC], has been inaugurated in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region. Membership of the Committee comprised the District Coordinating Director, the District Planning Officer, District Information Officer and the Director for the Ghana Education Service. The rest are a representative from the Bongo Traditional Council and District Directors for Health and the National Commission for Civic Education.
The Ghana Statistical Service [GSS] is the lead state implementing agency for the census but will usually collaborate with other strategic state institutions for an effective conduct of any census.
According to international best practices, a sovereign country ought to conduct a population and housing census every 10 years and as it stands, Ghanas current population records date as far back as 2010 implying, this year is that mandatory time for another census to be conducted, hence the inauguration of the DCICs throughout the country to be overseen by a national steering committee.
Bongo District Chief Executive [DCE], Hon. Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga in his inaugural address of the DCIC, described the ceremony as important platform for useful interactions between users and producers of official statistics. He stated that in the context of national development planning and the achievement of sustainable development goals, it was important to gather data that is of relevance and that can be used for development purposes without credibility worries. He added that, a credible PHC was an indispensable governance tool required to ensure that good governance and democracy works for Ghana as a whole.
Hon. Ayamga who is also the New Patriotic Partys Candidate for the Bongo Constituency in the 2020 general elections observed that, in the Assemblys budget estimates and other development plans, reference was always made to the 2010 census whose records have drastically changed over time and could no longer be too accurate for analysis. He noted for instance that, his districts population figures have often been quoted to be about 84,000 as captured in that census but stressed that as of this year, the district has numbers of over 100,000.
The DCE therefore lauded governments resolve to update the countrys population records as this would aid tremendously in the effective planning, targeted distribution of development projects and also, allow for effective monitoring of interventions and impacts of programme implementation on the populace. He charged committee members to put all their professional and technical knowledge into creating the needed public awareness and to persuade all stakeholders and residents in the district to get involved and get counted in order to produce a very reliable population data base for the country.
Hon. Ayinbisa administered the oaths of Secrecy and Allegiance as well as, the official oath to all seven committee members and charged them to hold these as very sacred.
Upper East Regional Statistician Mr. Felix Geli in his presentation later, disclosed that the GSS was empowered under the Statistical Service Law 1985 as well as that of 2019 [Act 1003] to carry out the PHC. He said the country had so far successfully conducted 11 censuses spanning from 1891, 1901, 1911 and 1921 though to 1931. This continued from 1948 to 1960, 1970, 1984 and year 2000 up to the last one in 2010.
Source: Peter Atogewe Wedam (ISD)