The Coalition of Muslim Organisations, Ghana (COMOG) on Monday advised Muslims to take part in the 2020 Population and Housing Census for the actual population to be captured for effective planning.
Alhaji M. B. Adams Musah, the Representative of the Upper West Regional Imam, who gave the advice said this was key to the nation’s development as this would avert any repeated misrepresentation of the factual Muslim population in Ghana.
Alhaji Musah was speaking at a national Muslims stakeholder’s consultative forum organised by COMOG on the 2020 Population and Housing Census.
The Forum was on the theme; “2020 Population Census, Muslims Count so Count them”.
He said the coalition considers the 2.9 Muslim population as an understatement of the strength of Islam in the country hence, the need for the forum to educate Muslims on the need to be part of the 2020 census.
He said for years Muslims have been discounted in the country adding that, this was a situation the organisation seek to address to avert any repeat misrepresentation of the factual Muslim population on the ground by proving to the world that annual growth rate among all religious faith could be found in Muslim zones across the globe.
Alhaji Musah, urged the Ghana Statistical Service to dialogue with Muslim leadership to strategically plan towards the deployment of Muslim Census Field Staff who would conduct the enumeration.
He said COMOG was going to conduct an intensive community engagement and sensitization to pep up Muslims interest and equally devise perfect scientific tools with all the internal control mechanisms that would evolve a credible census of Muslims.
He urged Muslims to be competent and visionary leaders, be enterprising and effective communicators with good interpersonal skills to remain relevant in today’s world of visible and invincible challenges.
Mr David Kombat, the Deputy Government Statistician, commended COMOG for the initiative adding that, constant education and awareness creation would assist in ensuring that everyone was counted.
He said the various sets of data would provide numerous analytical outcomes, such as the country’s population profile, resource planning gaps, a way of monitoring core areas from skills development and capacity building to health-related programmes and access to services, as well as measures of economic activity.
He noted that for the 2020 census, the country has been divided into small geographic areas known as enumeration zones in other to cover every demarcated part.
Mr Kombat said questionnaires which would be used for the data collection would be made available to individuals and groups to allow for more education before the exercise finally commences in 2020.
He said the GSS for the first time, intends to adopt the use of electronic data collection with other geospatial technologies, which had been recommended by the United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD) for the 2020 round of Population and Housing Census.
The Deputy Statistician noted that in this regard the Service would be conducting intensive training for field officers to ensure success at the end of the exercise.
The forum also sought for the views and expectations of the Muslim Ummah regarding the 2020 Population and Housing Census and also developed an action plan for implementing the 2020 census.
Hajj Abdel-Manan Abdel Rahman, the General Secretary COMOG, said the forum was to formulate clear roadmaps to ensure that the issue of misrepresentation of Muslims was resolved.