The Fulani community in Ghana has expressed its dissatisfaction 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 percent 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 a Fulani as its MP in the 2020 election. There are several Fulanis working as, doctors, engineers, lecturers, journalists, and artisans who play active roles in developing our dear nation. Yet official statistics tend to overlook many important economic benefits of the Fulani community in Ghana,” Mr. Mohammed stressed.
However, the Fulani Community has among other things proposed to the government and the Ghana Statistical Service to endeavor to use the census to generate reliable data to accurately define key demographic parameters, of the Fulani community and this must be mainstreamed at the level of government policymaking and policy interventions.
The Streotypes Against the Fulanis in Ghana
Speaking at the 9th Tabital Pulaaku International annual conference at Buipe, back in 2020, the Ghanian former president John Dramani Mahama has called for an end to stereotypes against Fulani ethnic group in Ghana. Fulanis he said, have lived in Ghana long before independence and have contributed to the economic progress of the country in many sectors therefore should not be discriminated against. It is a common misconception among Ghanaians to perceive all Fulanis simply as herdsmen when many of them are serving the nation in different professions, stressed Mr. Mahama. “The Fulani people have been a part of this dear nation of ours before and after independence and they contribute to the economic progress of Ghana in many sectors. People of Fulani extraction contribute in many capacities in areas of civil service, in academia, in business, the judiciary, commerce, and industry. Their citizenship as Ghanaians noted Mr. Mahama, is not arguable and therefore they must be given the right to enjoy all the benefits enjoyed by Ghanaians citizens.”