Ghana kicks off first fully digital census in West Africa

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Ghana has started its prolonged-awaited fully-digital nationwide census; the principle-ever in West Africa. This comes after a trial changed into conducted in retract districts nationwide encourage in 2019.

The country’s final census changed into in 2010 and it build the inhabitants at 24.6 million. The country has, each 10 years since 1981, conducted the Inhabitants and Housing Census (PHC) but changed into compelled to postpone the 2020 census due to the the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now the authorities has gone digital, using tablets and satellite tv for laptop photographs to enhance the reach of field brokers and guaranteeing the total inhabitants in Ghana is counted on census night.

The digital census will seemingly be performed with using Computer-Assisted Within most Interviewing (CAPI) units that are tablets for digital knowledge have interaction and Geographic Positioning Systems (GPS) for recording coordinates of structures. 

Extra than 67,000 field enumerators were deployed to derive knowledge nationwide using digital questionnaires on digital tablets, in step with the Ghana Statistics Service (GSS), the institution accountable for collecting and collating nationwide knowledge.

The sector brokers will arrangement members travelling, members in brief-end establishments similar to health facilities, resorts, and prisons, and these thought of as homeless at their locations, Ghana’s Chief Government Statistician, Samuel Kobina Annim, changed into quoted as asserting.

An “all-inclusive” notify

The historical digital census in Ghana suits correct in with the authorities’s voice to have interaction the divulge preference of Ghanaians in the country, especially the inclined inhabitants, for higher nationwide pattern.

“The 2021 census is queer with using digital tablets and the Web to have interaction and transfer knowledge to ensure the transport of excessive-quality and faster results to make stronger the decision-making direction of,” President Nana Akufo-Addo stated encourage in Could maybe when he introduced a countdown to the digital census. Finally, this would perchance abet in socio-economic planning in the country and potentially support the fight in opposition to inequality while reworking the informal sector.

“The digitisation will abet us bring results extra promptly and accurately than we extinct to maintain with the paper and pen knowledge sequence in the previous,” stated Peter Takyi Peprah, the Topic Operations Manager on the GSS.

Ghana has millions of avenue vendors and shatter pickers that create up most of its informal economic system. The majority of these of us moved from poorer rural areas searching for work and symbolize a “floating inhabitants” that the authorities desires to have interaction higher in its database. 

The census will also play a foremost position in the nationwide rollout of biometric identity cards launched by President Nana Akufo-Addo in 2017. The recent ID card requires a digital address code, many of that will seemingly be generated by enumerators at some level of the census.

“The counting that we enact at GSS at some level of a PHC is the snapshot of the inhabitants and it is an all-inclusive notify,” Annim added.

The fully digital PHC is intended to maintain trace the authorities $84 million, around 50% bigger than the final census. It sees the West African nation join the list of African international locations to derive nationwide knowledge electronically, an recent club that functions superb Swaziland, Malawi, and Kenya. Within the period in-between, South Africa is in line for its first-ever digital census.

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