Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Tuesday said the 2020 population census will count every Ghanaian including those in slums, and the homeless, to enable the government fight inequality.
“To fight inequality we must count everyone and make everyone accountable to pay their fair share in taxes that would be used to target assistance to those who may not have had access to critical social services previously”, he stated.
Vice President Bawumia said a digitized formal economy remained crucial plank of the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda, thus the population and housing census would cover access to social amenities – water, healthcare, educational infrastructure and housing conditions as well.
For this reason, Vice President Bawumia explained that the nation was rolling out the Ghana Identification Card to provide legal identity to her citizens, as well as established the digital address system for easy identification.
The Vice President stated this at a dinner in Accra, organised by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) to welcome fellows attending the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data’s Press Fellowship (GPSDD) to Ghana.
Eight Journalists from Senegal, Ghana, Kenya, United States and United Kingdom are currently in the country for the four-day Data4SDGs Press fellowship underway in Accra.
The United Nations Foundation (UNF) is sponsoring the fellows attending the programme, being organised by GPSDD in collaboration with the GSS.
Vice President Bawumia noted there was huge emerging potential in the Africa Regional Data Cube to quantify deforestation or harmful mining activities across enormous swathes of land thus the need for a chance to exchange deep and valuable learning among African governments.
“We cannot begin to solve intractable diseases, complex problems like fast-spreading diseases, polluted rivers, poor waste management systems without up to date data”, he said.
The Vice President observed that achieving the SDGs required informed choices about priorities and strategies that were based on better evidence than is available today saying improving sustainable development data remained a huge task for all.
Political leadership, combined with the right institutional framework; financial, technical and human resources and partnership among public and private data producers and users are crucial for data to enable development.
“Mobilizing political will and moral courage is not going to be enough if we do not have the right evidence – evidence that points us to making the right decisions”, the Vice President explained.
Professor Kobina Annim, the Government Statistician, said Ghana had taken different and new trajectory for data collection to produce reliable data to push sustainable development.
He said the GSS had taken a transformational approach in data management saying with the current technological advancement in data collection, the 2020 population and housing census would enable Ghana to maintain her global attention.