Ghana's statistical system, generally considered
as one of the weakest link in the country's socio-economic drive, is to be revamped to make for a more efficient development planning, Vice President John Dramani Mahama announced in Accra on Thursday.
Although data collection has been identified as critical for development projections, many third world countries have largely left the task of enumeration in an undeveloped state, a situation Vice President Mahama said government was seeking to reverse through a strategic repositioning of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).
Speaking on Thursday at a meeting of development partners helping to finance aspects of the 2010 Ghana Population and Housing Census (PHC), Vice President Mahama said government would "rebuild the statistical system of
the country" to ensure an effective national planning and coordination.
The restructuring of the GSS, which would include amendments to its legislation, was to grant more powers to the service to help out in the collection of statistical information critical for the sustenance of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.
Such an invigorated public service, the Vice President spelt out,
was critical in view of the fact that "statistics for development are not
only needed at the national level, but at other levels of government administration and policy intervention".
Touching on the relevance of the 2010 PHC, Vice President Mahama said
its conduct was critical in helping to assess whether government was meeting
key national and international socio-economic, governance and health targets such as the Millennium Development Goals.
To ensure a successful implementation of the PHC, Vice President Mahama said government will soon constitute a National Census Steering Committee which is expected to work with the GSS and development partners to seek resources for the 48.9 million-dollar project.
The central government is to provide about half the cost of the project, which commences this year, with a trial census beginning in June this year.
The actual census which would be held next year will target five million households, with the final results expected in June 2011.