This is Census Night and tomorrow, the 21st March, 1960, about 9,000 Census Officers, spread all over the country, will begin the count of our population. My Government attaches the very greatest importance to the successful outcome of this operation, the first census since Ghana became independent. The last census which took place in l948 gave our population as a little over 4 million. l am sure, however, that this figure is a gross understatement and in any case, the population of Ghana has increased appreciably since that date. Changes must also have taken place in its age composition, in its economic and social structure, in its educational level and in many other respects.
The Government needs to know how many people there are in the country and the structure of the population in order to enable it to organise its development plans and services in accordance with the manpower resources of the country. We need to know where to provide schools, health centres, hospitals, water supplies, agricultural projects, industries, roads and other communications and many other development projects and services, all of which depend on an accurate assessment of the nature and numbers of our population.
I wish to pay tribute to the men and women who have been responsible for the planning and organisation of this census and who during the past ten months have been engaged in the preparation of census documents and the training of the field staff. I wish to pay tribute also to the devotion and enthusiasm on the part of the field staff, the 9,000 census officers, who will start the fortnight operation which starts from tomorrow.
The most important element in this operation, however, is your co-operation, without your wholehearted cooperation, the best plans and organisation, and the efficiency of the field staff will not achieve the results we want. I am sure that you the people understand the necessity for having a reliable census. I am sure you accept the good intentions of the Government for organising this census. The fact that all sections of organised opinion in this country are cooperating in this venture is proof of the importance which is attached to the successful outcome of this operation.
The Development Plan has been promoted to benefit every man, woman and child in this country. For this reason, I know you will accept it as your duty, whether you are a politician or a chief clergyman or public servant, artisan or farmer, clerk or labourer to ensure that every human being in this country is counted. With your full co-operation, we shall surprise the world in the numbers and quality of our people and in the wealth of human resources at our disposal for building the nation.
The Government and I depend on you all to make this population census a resounding success. I know you will play your part and respond to the challenge.