The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) on Wednesday launched the Harmonizing and Improving Statistics in West Africa Project (HISWAP) to strengthen the statistical systems across selected African countries.
It is also to harmonize, produce, disseminate and enhance the use of core economic and social statistics to facilitate development.
The project, to be carried out in three levels, is expected to run between 2020 and 2024.
It would be implemented in seven West African Countries including Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, and two Pan-African Organizations namely, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Africa Union Commission (AUC).
Launching the project at a symposium organized by the GSS to commemorate this year’s African Statistics Day in Accra, Dr Grace Bediako, Chairperson of the Governing Board of GSS, said the project adopted a system-wide approach to statistics development.
It would focus on the strategies required to enhance the entire National Statistics System (NSS) to align the country’s Statistical System with the monitoring and evaluation requirements of National Development Programmes and International Commitments.
The first level of the project will be a regional component to ensure harmonization of data collection to improve quality dissemination of core set of social, economic and administrative statistics in West Africa.
The second level will be a national project to improve and modernize physical and statistical infrastructure that will support 13 Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) with the financial and technical assistant (TA) from the Ghana Statistical Service.
The third level will be a programme to strengthen and develop the institutional capacity in project management, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of all project documentation.
Dr Bediako said the Project was developed through an interactive consultative process with representatives of the Ghana Statistical Service, the Ministry of Finance, the Attorney General’s Department and Ministry of Justice and 19 Municipal and District Assembly, and Development partners.
She said the project would emphasize the need for reliable Statistics to be easily accessible to all categories of stakeholders, government institutions, academia, researchers, businesses, communities, civil society groups, as well as individuals.
“One of the most challenging situations we are facing as a nation is the paucity of timely and relevant data for our planning, monitoring and valuation of policies and programmes, and to make a sound business decision,” She said.
Dr Bediako said the major exercises to be undertaken by GSS under the project would be the Population and Housing Census to be conducted between April and May 2021.
Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, the Government Statistician, said the service was putting in place measures to ensure misuse of statistic data was prevented.
He commended government and development partners for their continued support towards ensuring the success of the service.