The Fulani community in Ghana have expressed their misgivings over the exclusion of the Fulani ethnic group in the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC).
The Ghana Statistics Service (GSS) classified the Fulani ethnic group as “All Other Tribes” in the PHC questionnaire for the upcoming census which begins this week.
The African Centre for Fulbe (Fulani) Affairs and Security said the Fulani Community have existed in Ghana for over 400 years existing in all remotest part of all sixteen regions and must be respected and counted by name like any other ethnic group in the country.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Monday, June 14, 2021, Executive Director of the Centre, Gadel Ahmed Mohammed said the decision not to recognize the Fulani Community in the census is unacceptable, untenable and discriminatory.
According to him, their exclusion is based on unfair perception and discriminative attitude against Fulani and Fulani pastoral communities in Ghana.
He said “It is significant to note that, Ghana population and housing census of 1948 captured the Fulani ethnic group at 20,000 as Fulani and Fulani pastoralists in Ghana. The 1960 census further suggested that this number had risen to 25,050.
“According to the 2000 PHC census, which is the most recent estimate, there were a total of 300,000 Fulani’s including pastoralists in Ghana (Ghana Statistical Service, 2002). These are strong affirmation that the Fulani ethnic group have always been part of the population and house census in Ghana, by name. Why have we been exempted and classified under ‘All ethnic group’?”
Mr Mohammed argued that the contribution of the Fulani Community to the socio-economic development of Ghana cannot be underestimated.
He added over 90 per cent of the Fulani population in Ghana are Muslims and have played active roles in nation building.
“It is worth noting that, the second lady is a Fulani. Indeed, the Adenta constituency settled on Fulani as its MP in the 2020 election. There are several Fulanis working as, doctors, engineers, lecturers, journalist and artisans who play active roles in developing our dear nation. Yet official statistics tend to overlook many important economic benefits of Fulani community in Ghana,” Mr Mohammed stressed.
However, the Fulani Community have among other things proposed to government and the Ghana Statistical Service to endeavor to use the census to generate a reliable data to accurately define key demographic parameters, of Fulani community and this must be mainstreamed at the level of government policy making and policy interventions.