Census 2020: Everyone Counts, Get Counted

Ghana’s population continue to increase by more than 700,000 people each year, with most of the growth occurring in urban areas of Accra, Kumasi and Sekondi-Takoradi. According to the National Population Council (NPC, RAPID 2015) Ghana’s population is estimated to be 45.8 and 50.2 million by 2040 and 2050 respectively should the current growth rate remain unchanged. Continued population growth has strong implications for quality of life, socio-economic growth and sustainability. This clearly points to the fact that investment and resources including education, housing, road network, energy, health, water and sanitation facilities will have to be provided to match up with the increasing numbers. It is important to understand and appreciate that planning precedes development and one sure way of actualizing this is through census.

Population and Housing Census defined
Population and housing census is one of the most expensive and complex exercises to be undertaken by any nation. It requires some amount of detailed cartographic work, recruiting and training huge number of enumerators, putting in place strong publicity machinery, compiling huge amounts of data on paper and or in electronic format, analyzing and disseminating same to end users. This year’s population and housing census (PHC) will be the sixth post-independence to be conducted in Ghana.

Population and housing censuses are done decennial (every ten years) by countries consistent with United Nations recommendations. By definition, population and housing census is the enumeration of the total population of a country, which provides data on the number of people, spatial distribution, age and sex structure, living conditions and other key socioeconomic characteristics. Data on disability, migration and information communication technology will also be collected, analyzed and disseminated. Such data are critical to development planning, tracks population dynamics, spatial and social inequalities in development and allocation of infrastructure at multi-level as well as for electoral and boundary planning. From its simplistic approach population and housing census provides primary data source on size and spatial distribution of the population, housing conditions and related characteristics.

Uniqueness of the 2020 census
The uniqueness of the 2020 population and housing census lies in its capacity and capability to switch from paper-centric to techno-centric approach. An innovative approach to generating population and housing data remains the best option at least for now. A computer assisted personal information (CAPI) device will be used. A technique that integrates geographical information satellite images, remote sensing and survey data at point of service (POS) and point of delivery (POD). The use of CAPI has proven not only to be user friendly even to the technophobic but also robust, stable and practical in operational context. This new approach will enable us generate, analyze, disseminate and publish high quality, relevant and disaggregated geo-referenced census data timely for use.

A key challenge likely to compromise the outcome and coverage of any census is inaccessibility. However, in the case of Ghana this has been overcome through the use of GPS and a further development of cartographic maps to guide enumerators. It is important to know that the use of CAPI per say will not replace the comprehensive data set alternatively generated through traditional means

The upcoming population and housing census calls for greater attention and involvement across sectors as a successful exercise will make available quality geo-referencing data and knowledge on demand for decision-making and to guide development. This explains why the 2020 population and housing census is of much importance to all, for everyone counts get counted.

My Details:
NAME: Frank Ofosu-Asante
ORGANISATION: National Population Council – W/R
POSITION: Regional Director
E-MAIL: ofosuasante32@yahoo.com

BARAKA POLICY INSTITUTE 6TH ANNUAL DEVELOPMENT LECTURES ON GHANA 2020 POPULATION CENSUS

 

A MESSAGE DELIVERED BY THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL POPULATION COUNCIL, DR LETICIA ADELAIDE APPIAH

 

THEME: THE COMMUNITY RESPONSIBILITY FACTOR

Introduction

I will begin by extending my heartfelt appreciation to the Conveners of the Baraka Policy Institute for the invitation extended to me as a Special Guest of Honour to this sixth BPI Annual Development Lectures. As the Executive Director of the National Population Council, I am of the firm believe that this platform provide a very important opportunity for us deliberate on the role of the community as a major stakeholder in the 2020 Population Housing Census. Population and Housing Census was first held in 1891 in Ghana, and have since been conducted every ten years with the exception of 1941 due to interruption by the World War II, but was held seven years after in 1984 (Ghana – Population and Housing Census 2000 – IHSN Survey Catalog). Census data, just like other surveys, are important starting points for development issues, and I am always extremely passionate about platforms such as this, to mainstream them into our national development discourse.

 

The Community/ Policy Development Factor

The Ghanaian populace have been an integral part of this exercise over these years, and I believe the 2020 Census will not be an exception. Indeed this is a very important national exercise which all citizens must take seriously and participate in fully. Census data have served as a baseline and a leading source of statistical information about the citizenry, hence the slogan, “Everyone Counts, Get Counted”.  The value of accurate census data to the public cannot be over emphasised. Relying on accurate data goes beyond the simple fact of how many people live here. Policy makers have recognised that accurate census can provide other valuable information to improve the policy process. Policy makers at all levels of government as well as private businesses, household, researchers use census data.

Governments by the use of population data and its characteristics, are able to target and distribute resources toward a wide range of socio-economic developments at the local community level. It also serves an important tool for evidence based decision making, and shapes investment decisions by private businesses and builds confidence in the government and the economy. Census data is used in assessing economic well-being, assisting families and low-income populations the elderly, the physically challenged or disabled and in some cases veterans.

Accurate census data is critical to local government agencies such as; boards of schools, hospitals, etc. in determining their needs (e.g. Basic schools, JHS, SHS etc.). Accurate data is crucial for better planning and implementation, including educational training and provision of health services etc.

 Business Factor

Accurate census data provides information on where people of different ages live, and helps businesses of all kinds to develop and market their products. (e.g. baby food, clothing and diapers). It helps provide relevant information for the provision of needs such as; large family amusement parks, TV programs for children, real estate needs and many more. Accurate census information on language spoken at home helps TV and radio stations define language service area and develop products and services tailored for those who speak languages other than English.

 Forecast Demand Factor

Businesses uses Census data in forecasting demand, and thereby supplying products required by communities. This helps in making location decisions, and where to cite which type of business. This data also provides businesses with the required information to venture and invest in profitable sectors of the economy having in mind the availability of utilities etc. Disaster relief when planning or responding to disaster both at the individual and community level is enhanced by the availability, interpretation and use of census data.

 

Conclusion

It is therefore, important that as Ghana prepares to conduct the 2020 Population and Housing Census, all stakeholders, especially the citizenry are well informed and encouraged to cooperate and participate in the enumeration exercise in order to achieve the desired outcome.   Indeed I believe that, with the required support given, the slogan of “Everyone Counts, Get Counted” will be achieved.

 

Show interest in the work of Population Council—Muslim leaders to govt.

The Executive Director of the Muslim Family Council Services (MFCS), Chief Alhaji Imoro Baaba, has urged government to show more interest in the work of the National Population Council (NPC) as it is a vital arm of government that acts as a springboard for government developmental agenda.

According to him, without the full functioning of the NPC, it will be difficult for the various institutions and commissions set up by the government to achieve any impactful results. 

Chief Alhaji Imoro Baaba made the remarks when he paid a courtesy call on the Executive Director of the NPC, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah last Wednesday, February 6, 2019 in Accra.

He was accompanied by accompanied by Alhaji Issifu Fuseini and Hajia Adiza Baaba Issa, Deputy Director of the Muslim Family Council Services. 

Chief Alhaji Imoro Baaba said a lot of people do not understand the work of the council hence the very little prominence it receives, urging government to provide increased support to the NPC if it desires to see meaningful development. 

He also called on the United Nations Population Fund, formerly the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) and other international donors to continue to beef-up support for the population council to do their advocacy work to affect lives positively.

“The establishment of the National population Council dates as far back to the Busia regime which saw population, family planning as the way to go if visible developments is something to go by,” he opined. 

Chief Alhaji Imoro Baaba also blamed teenage pregnancy and all the increasing social ills in society to the country’s inability to address population, family planning and related issues.

He has, therefore, requested the NPC to adopt strategic lobbying skills to get the desired prominence it requires to help achieve its mandate in making government efforts in developing Ghana visible. 

He was of the view that there is the need for partnership to better position family planning strategically for national development, educate its people and provide requisite information for their follower and provide better understanding regarding the integral nature of NPC’s work in national Development. 

The Executive Director of the National Population Council, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah who was happy to receive the group commended their efforts and supports. 

“Family planning is the way to go,” she said, adding that it is like a missionary work, hence all must join hands in achieving a mandate of providing an improved and sustained quality of life for all Ghanaians. 

“We are ready to join you and won’t also mind if you join us to do the needful for the country we all love and want to see develop,” she noted.

‘Give birth 10 times to win a sheep’

In our series of letters from African journalists, Elizabeth Ohene considers the controversial proposal to limit women to having three babies in Ghana.

Among the Ga, the people who are indigenous to Ghana’s capital, Accra, a woman is entitled to a live sheep on the delivery of her 10th child. The word for it is “nyongmato”.

I am not making this up even though it does sound like the kind of apocryphal story that is regularly made up.

Lots of very important people among the Gas can testify to this. Unfortunately, I have not met any woman who has actually got a live sheep for having given birth to 10 children.

Indeed, I have never met any woman who has had 10 children.

I don’t know if I have been moving in the wrong circles, because I don’t even know any woman who has had five children. OK, as soon as I wrote that, I realized I was wrong.

‘Lonely battle’

Two months ago, I went to the funeral of a female relation of mine who was my classmate in primary school.

At her death, this relation of mine had 46 direct descendants; made up of eight children, 26 grandchildren and counting, and 10 great-grandchildren and counting.

I was scandalized and I spent the entire funeral going over these figures and moaning to myself how easy it was to find the reasons for the poverty in Ghana.

I have been waging a lonely unpopular battle about the rate of population growth in our country and against women having so many babies, but to no avail.

I roll out what I consider to be a sound argument that I thought would win over all doubters.

I cite Norway, which had a population of 3.5 million to Ghana’s five million at the time of our independence in 1957.

Today, there are 5.3 million people living in Norway while Ghana has a population of nearly 30 million.
‘We don’t count children’

I make the argument that even if none of our rulers ever stole any public funds, we would still have economic difficulties at this rate of population growth.

The last time I visited Lillehammer in Norway, I wrote in my column about the difference in our two situations. I pointed out it is no wonder everything is bursting at the seams and we are forever worrying about the lack of classrooms.

Somehow, these arguments don’t cut any ice with people here because it is considered in extremely bad taste to complain about the number of children somebody has.

As someone once claimed to me: “In our tradition we don’t count children.”

The good news is that now I don’t feel alone in this battle.

Into the fray has jumped the Executive Director of the National Population Council, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, and believe me, she is an exceptionally brave woman.

She is not speaking in parables, she is straight to the point. She has proposed that women should be restricted to having three children.

And she says this should be obligatory.

If a woman goes beyond this sacred number of three, she would be punished by being denied access to free government services.

‘Outrage from men’

We have to talk about the quality of life, Dr Appiah has been arguing.

I don’t recall that anyone in an official position has been this categorical in Ghana about family planning ever before.

We have had a family planning policy since 1970 but usually people only talk about the spacing of births and then hope that the spacing will lead to the birth of fewer children.

This time around Dr. Appiah is urging a cap on the number of children a woman should have.

It is interesting to note that that the people who claim to be outraged by the proposal to limit the number of children have been largely men. I’m sorry none of their arguments stick in my mind long enough to repeat here.

I have not yet heard any woman complain that they don’t want the number of children they can have to be restricted.

Ghana’s fertility rate, that is the average number of children per woman, currently stands at four, though that figure has fallen steadily over the last 30 years.

Another interesting statistic worth noting is that there has not been a single death from measles in Ghana since 2002. Measles used to be one of the main infant killers, and the main justification for having many births.

This past week, I have been doing a very unscientific survey.

Every pregnant woman I have seen, I have asked which number it was and I have not yet met a woman in her third pregnancy. But I am probably looking in the wrong place by asking working women in banks, in offices and shops; the high birth rates can be found mostly in the rural areas.

There might yet be some women who are aspiring to get that live sheep.

We would probably have to find an equally attractive present for every woman who decides to stop at three or below. The problem is I can’t think what can possibly challenge the “10-baby sheep”, nyongmato.

Source: BBC

RE: The Population Myth

In his article titled The Population Myth carried in the September 22, 2018 edition of the Daily Guide Newspaper Dr Nii Moi Thompson wrote things about the National Population Council and its Executive Director that created some false impressions that need to be corrected.

Dr. Thompson wrote that the NPC is “prosecuting an alarmist campaign’ which according to him ‘seems to be driven more by disregard for facts and history than desire to enlighten the public’.

He described the three child per woman policy target of the NPC as ‘arbitrary and whimsical, even dangerous’ and said there is no research ‘anywhere that identifies three children per woman as the optimal threshold’.

Clearly, his understanding of population and development does not include health of the population; that is why he is talking about absence of an ‘optimal population structure for development’ thereby re-echoing the usual Julian Simon School.

There is too much of it out there describing the effect of higher birth order (and short birth intervals) on reproductive health outcomes (Stover and Ross, 2010; Susuman et al. 2016; Mishra et al. 2017; GSS et al. 2015, 2018).

Births of order 4 and above are shown to increase the risk of infant and maternal mortality. This is one of the reasons why the 1994 revised Population Policy set a total fertility rate (TFR) target of 3 children by 2020. This is important because nations are developed by healthy people reproducing healthily and working to take care of them in a sustainable manner. Just as we have optimal blood pressure level.

A reference to the population policy or engagement with the NPC would inform anyone that the figure is not ‘whimsical or arbitrary’.

This policy target of three children was set as far back as1994 and is therefore not an agenda been pushed by the Executive Director of the NPC. As far back as 1969 when the first population policy was developed there were recommendations for exemptions including limiting maternal leave to three children. Just as limiting pension age in the public service to 60 years does not mean after 60 one cannot work in other organizations.

As we wish to reiterate, his understanding of development is that of a classical economist and does not include health, otherwise he would have known that there is an optimal number of births for the health of women, children and communities.

For the information of the economist, age, birth interval and birth order (4+) are the demographic variables used in defining a high-risk pregnancy and are termed demographic risks.

He writes that ‘contrary to the campaign‘s repeated claims, Ghana does NOT face any imminent crises of population growth’.

He concludes the paragraph that Ghana has succeeded and ‘just needs to manage its success better’. Dr Thompson being the astute journalist, artist and economist should explain why though poverty declined by 0.8% between 2013 and 2017, the absolute figures increased from 6.4 million to 6.8 million with widening inequalities according to the GLSS7 of 2017. 

Is this what he terms success that we should just manage? Of course, there is no imminent crises but as clearly stated by Lee Kuan Yew in 1969, we will regret the time lost if we do not take the decisive steps towards correcting a trend which can leave a society with many physically, intellectually and culturally anemic people.

Population growth rate does affect health, education, employment, security among others. The size and population growth rate which are a function of birth rate, death rate and migration do matter because it acts as the supply of labor force for a country and the economic situation the demand factor. An imbalance between the supply of labour and demand gives rise to unemployment and underemployment. 

A vicious cycle generated by a high dependency burden associated with a young age structure leads to low savings and investment per capita which in turn leads to low economic growth and a low standard of living. 

They produced high fertility rates in turn thus heightens the dependency burden perpetuating the cycle. This vicious cycle could be broken at only two points. First at the high fertility stage primarily by introducing an effective family planning program and at the stage of low economic growth by adopting policies to accelerate economic growth.

To be successful, both actions must be pursued simultaneously. With this as a clue, I hope Dr Thompson understands why there is an ever-increasing cohort of school children and we keep building to accommodate them instead of improving quality. Other economists have stated that at 1% population growth rate, nations need between 6.5% and 7% of GDP to maintain the same quality of life. This is termed running to stand still. What does he say about this? Is this consumption or investment?

He states that we are growing at 2.2% which is fine, and therefore we need to sustain the growth. It is however important to note that, our 1969 population policy had a target of 1.7% by the year 2000. Nonetheless, at 2.2 per annum, how much of our GDP do we need annually to just maintain our quality of life giving the life span of our durable assets such as schools, hospitals, roads, bridges currently perked averagely at 50 years not considering the human capital? 

When Dr Thompson blames the overthrow of Gaddafi on European failed to connect the dots properly. Why should the overthrow of Gaddafi lead to the influx of African migrants to Europe if economists had good ideas as MechaiViravaidya of Thailand who within 15 years from 1971 halved Thailand’s growth rate from 3.2% to 1.6% and increased use of contraceptives among married couples from 15% to 70% within the same period. Because of the fertility decline and improved quality of life the people of Thailand did not migrate to Europe with or without the overthrow of Gaddafi.

The population of Thailand in 1970 was about 37 million, in2016 it was about 68 million with a GDP per capita increased from $570 in 1960 to $ 5901 in 2016. How does this compare to our situation in Ghana?

The claim by the economist that if indeed high population growth in Africa is the cause of migration, Africans should have been leaving long time ago is mistaken. A profile of the migrants will show that these are young people who have reached their prime ages and cannot find jobs. This is the result of high population growth and slow economic growth.

The high population growth rates he is referring to applied to smaller bases, 3.6% of 6 million therefore any little loan or grant we had was sufficient for our needs, but that will not be sufficient if our growth rate is 2.5 or 2.2 percent of 30 million. A fertility rate of 6 among 1 million women of reproductive age will result in far fewer absolute births than a fertility rate of 4 among 5 million women. 

About 40% of Ghana’s population was less than 15 years in 2010 and by 2035 all those surviving from this large cohort and still living in Ghana will enter the economically active population. That high population growth increases the need for employment. This is very well demonstrated by Linden in New York Times of June 8th2018. He described it by illustrating that USA with its population structure generated 129,000 new jobs monthly, however, an America size Tanzania population structure would have had to produce 636,000 new jobs monthly without ceasing. We all have a stake and we will co-create the Ghana we want.

Dr Thompson talks about European women having up to 8 children some 100 years ago and European countries have undergone demographic transition. It is right that some European women had up to 8 children at some point in history and a corresponding life expectancy of 30 years. In economics, the fact that one cannot talk about interest rate without inflation also applies to fertility rate and quality of life in population management.

European countries run the full course of the demographic transition from high stationary to low stationary. Everything developed gradually, they did not face the explosive expansion like developing countries who benefited from medical technology and advancement in public health which lead to rapid decline in mortality.

Unfortunately, some economists did not and still do not support family planning as a critical intervention to reduce fertility to match mortality decline contributing to our current state.

Dr. Nii MoiThompson explains that ‘the slowdown in Ghana’s fertility and population growth rates over the years was largely due to the brisk pace of urbanization, from 23.25% in 1960 to 55.32% in 2017’. 

Yes, one huge change in Africa according to Robert Engelman is the mushrooming of gigantic cities. Ghana is urbanizing rapidly with most people arriving from failed farmland and settling into slums.

While it is true that fertility differ according to urban-rural residence, increase in urbanization will never directly lead to fertility decline. The reduced fertility is as a result of easy access to contraceptives and abortion services. The long-standing family planning efforts have accounted for fertility decline and not necessarily urbanization.

In fact, recommending urbanization as a measure for further fertility decline is difficult to comprehend because Ghana’s greatest fertility decline was in the 1980’s when 70% of the country was rural and less literate.

According to Dr. Nii MoiThompson, the NPC ‘typically compares Ghana’s population figures to world averages or individual European countries and conclude that Ghana is doing badly’. We will continue to do so because the sustainable development goals are global targets just as the MDGs were. Human rights and human dignity are universal, and we will continue to do so. He goes further to explain how world population averages distort data from the developing world.

As much as possible we try to present a balanced picture, but we see no problem comparing with world averages. That is exactly what an average is: it combines the best performing and the worst performing. Just as some countries in the world have TFRs less than 2, others have up to 6 so there is nothing wrong with world figures and the distortions he is talking about are only imaginary.

However, we shall limit our comparisons here to only developing countries as suggested or recommended by the economist.
According to the world population prospects estimate by UN 2010-2015, the growth rate of all less developed countries is 1.37% (against 2.39 for Ghana); a growth rate of 1.70% for less developed countries excluding china (against 2.39% for Ghana); a growth rate of 1.48% for lower middle-income countries (against 2.39 for Ghana).

The last is 2.39% for least developed countries (against 2.39% for Ghana); The NPC will continue to present a balanced comparison of Ghana’s population indicators including global ones because there is a global agenda with common benchmarks for all countries. 
About the wild allegation of the ‘NPC campaign [being] an unwitting extension of its European counterpart, which operates through “foreign aid”, we wish to ask what is driving his agenda. Is it driven by ‘aid’?

The vision of the NPC is quality life for the people of Ghana (children, teachers, nurses, mothers, fathers, doctors etc.) not just number of births. Numbers with purpose.

Council of State pledges support for National Population Council

The members of the Council of State have pledged their support for the National Population Council (NPC) to carry out its mandate of advising government on population and its related issues.

According to the council, issues bothering on population cannot be taken out of the equation of development.

The Chairman of the Council, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, said there is an urgent need to prioritise population management in the development planning of the country as it has a direct bearing on the country’s resource use and distribution.

Nana Otuo Siriboe made the remarks when the Executive Director of the NPC, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah gave a presentation on Ghana’s population structure at the State House in Accra.

“I’m scared looking at the population structure of Ghana…that in fact, we are sitting on a time bomb,” the Council of State Chairman said, adding that “We haven’t taken care of these things and our population is ballooning.”

He said no matter the amount of effort government put in place to develop the country, once the population is not factored in, such efforts would not yield any result.

“In our time, the secondary schools with high population was not up to 700 people but today, Opoku Ware Senior High School has more than 2000 students,” he said.

Speaking on the topic: “Population dynamics in socio-economic development”, Dr Appiah, said “It is very difficult to develop if you ignore population” pointing out that although “reproduction is an individual choice, it has communal implications.”

She described Ghana’s population as a youthful one, noting that such a population structure has implications on the country’s expenditure.

 

According to Dr Appiah, youthful population is characterized by high poverty rate, high dependency ratio, high expenditure on government to contain diseases and not to improve healthcare, fewer people paying taxes, and poor quality of education and lack of employment opportunities.

She explained that population and development are inter-related, explaining that in order to improve the quality of development planning, it is important to promote awareness among planners and policy makers on the need to adapt population policies consistent with development objectives.

According to her, it is important that stakeholders realise that high risk births, unwanted childbearing and rapid population growth as a demographic path is a major obstacle to our development.

Dr Appiah has therefore called for family planning services as part of measures to manage the country’s population, saying “family planning programmes have proven to bring about health and socio-economic benefits by encouraging smaller, healthier, more educated and skilled families.”

“We therefore need to invest in family planning to reduce high risk pregnancies which translate into reduction in medical, economic and social expenses,” she noted.

She explained that reducing high risk pregnancies sets the stage for adequate investment in nutrition, health, education and skill needed for human capital accumulation.

Dr Appiah further explained that investing in family planning “reduces the high youth dependency ratio and increases investment per child and ultimately improves the economic prospects of households and the nation.”

She was of the opinion that one way of making family planning easily accessible to people of reproductive age was to make contraceptives “easily accessible to people.”

According to her, making contraceptive accessible and easily available can be achieved through well-funded and active countryside media campaign supported by political leadership that provides information about the benefits of contraception, smaller families and the advantages of reducing risky pregnancies to the family, community and nation.

GIJ and Population Council to develop population reporting course

The Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and the National Population Council (NPC) are collaborating to develop a course module on population reporting for students in the school.

The programme, which will be piloted in the 2019/2020 academic year, according to the Rector of the school, Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, is aimed at equipping students to better understand population dynamics and how it affects development.

Courtesy call

He gave the hint when he paid a courtesy call on the Executive Director of the National Population Council, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah at her office in Accra on Thursday, January 31, 2019.

Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo was accompanied by the Head of Research and Acting Head of the Department of Communication at the school, Dr Lawrencia Agyepong.

He said the visit was to enable him to familiarise himself with sister state institutions and to find out how best they (institutions) can collaborate to contribute to the development of the country.

He said NPC was doing something great which the GIJ finds worthy to collaborate with, saying “We are interested in what you do and we want you to be interested in what we do.”

According to Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo, the familiarization tour also forms part of activities to create public awareness about the school’s upcoming 60th anniversary.

The school was established in 1959 by the Kwame Nkrumah government to provide training in journalism toward the development of a patriotic cadre of journalists to play an active role in the emancipation of the African continent.

Linkage

For her part, Dr Agyepong, said “We want to link what we do to development of the country”, pointing out that GIJ as an institution does not only train communicators, but contributes to national development.

She commended NPC for instituting media award scheme to whip-up the interest of journalists in population reporting.

According to her, the award scheme will help promote understanding of population issues among the populace.

Touching on the course, Dr Agyepong said the course will be piloted in 2019/2020 academic year either at level 300 or 400, saying “we cannot leave population to chance.”

The Executive Director of the NPC, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, expressed optimism that the collaboration between the two institutions would greatly contribute to the development of the country.

Population reporting

“It is important that we work together for the content our media people put out so that policy makers and stakeholders would well appreciate the impacts of population on national development,” she stated.

She expressed her happiness about the decision of the school to introduce a course on population reporting, noting that “I am excited that you have come on board. If we do not sow in season, we cannot reap the expected outcome.”

According to Dr Appiah, issues of population are long term things and that long term things don’t attract people’s attention, hence many people particularly in Ghana do not see the effects of the country’s growing population.

“Population is everything,” she said, adding that the decision by GIJ to introduce a course will help journalists and media practitioner to have better understanding of population issues and how to report on such issues with clarity.

Dr Appiah said any developed country takes population issues seriously, stressing that “people are not seeing the importance of population.”
Synchronization

She also expressed worry about lack of synchronization among state institutions, pointing out that such a practice leaves a lot to be desired.

According to her, it would be better if state institutions and agencies work together in the discharge of their duties, saying “We need to work together. We cannot sit in our silos.”