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Every 10 years since 1981, Ghana conducts the Population and Housing Census (PHC). However due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 PHC for Ghana will be held in April and May,2021. It will also be the country’s first digital PHC.

On the back of this, a Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and development partners meeting was held on 5th November,2020 in Accra to discuss ways to support a credible census process.

Highlighting the importance of censuses, Mr. Charles Abani, UN Resident Coordinator, stated that “census data are critical to national and sub-national development planning, tracking progress for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, Mr. Abani also stressed the need for disaggregated data for all SDG indicators to ensure that no one is left behind.

Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, UNFPA Ghana Country Representative, reminded participants of the need to be interested in the 2021 digital PHC as “Ghana’s census is everybody’s business”. Mr. Ojuolape added that UNFPA, as the lead UN agency for the census implementation, is working closely with the GSS to ensure that the exercise is conducted in accordance with the UN Principles and Recommendations for the 2020 round of population and housing censuses.

In a presentation, Professor Samuel Annim, Government Statistician, gave an overview of key milestones reached and resource gaps for census implementation.

The 2021 digital PHC will involve the use of Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing devices (tablets) for electronic data capture and Geographic Positioning Systems (GPS) for recording coordinates of structures as recommended by the United Nations.