Claim: This is Liberia’s and West Africa’s first digital census.

Source: Liberia’s Vice President, Jewel Howard-Taylor 

Verdict: Partly True and False  

Full text: Article 32(a) of the Constitution of Liberia mandates members of the Liberian Legislature to assemble in regular session once a year on the second working Monday in January. 

In keeping with the above, members of the Liberian legislature gathered early Monday, January 16, 2023, and performed all required for their return to the Capitol Building after their constitutional break.

The Vice President is the President of the Liberian Senate who presides over proceedings of that august body.

She spoke on various national issues highlighting the 2023 National Budget and delayed Pending Legislation with Committees and the National Census.

Speaking on the National Census, she said,”I am proud to inform you that this 2022 census is a landmark initiative; because of the fact that this is Liberia’s and West Africa’s first digital Census.”

The Census by the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) is by Section 6, Chapter 50A.8 of the LISGIS Act to further amend the new Executive Law, Title 12, of the Liberian Code of Law Revised.

The objectives of the 2022 Census provide up-to-date information on demographics, economic and social amenities, know the present size and structure of the population and its spatial distribution among counties, districts, clans, cities, townships, and localities.

It also provides a benchmark on which monitoring and evaluation of various national and international development goals could be based.

The post by VP Taylor attracted 11 shares, 71 reactions, and 16 comments.

Verification: TSM investigation established that Ghana was the first West African Country to conduct the digital Census in 2021. Ghana used a total of $84 million.

Contrary to the Liberian Vice President, Ghana was the first West African Country in 2021 that conduct a digital census. Ghana first had its trial completed in select districts nationwide back in 2019.

Countries out and in  Africa that have conducted digital Census are Swaziland-April 29, 2017, Malawi-2019, Kenya-November 2019, and  South Africa-August 10, 2020.

Conclusion: The claim made by Vice President Taylor that the National Census is Liberia’s first digital Census is correct, but the claim that it is West Africa’s first digital Census is incorrect. Ghana is the first country in West Africa to conduct a digitized census, not Liberia.


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