Liberia: School of Statistics to Open At UL

A partnership between the University of Liberia (UL) and the Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics (ENSEA), based in Abidjan, la Côte d'Ivoire, is expected to culminate in the opening of a school of statistics at the UL, a release has said.

Created in 1961, the Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics (Ecole Nationale Superieure de Statistique et de Appliquée -- ENSEA) is a national public institution whose vocation is to provide training for statisticians in French-speaking African countries.

To carry out its mission, ENSEA has the support of the State of Côte d'Ivoire and multifaceted support from regional and international institutions (UEMOA, French Cooperation, UNFPA, AfDB, World Bank, etc.). Also, research agreements have been initiated with universities and research centers to jointly carry out activities in the field of sectoral studies.

Being a part of the Network of African Statistical Schools with its activities across over twenty (20) African countries, ENSEA has been working with the Liberia Statistical and Geological Information Services (LISGIS), training people since 2008 and is currently in country to do an evaluation and to extend opportunities to other training institutions to work along with them, according to a dispatch from both UL and ENSEA officials.

As statistics is a cross-disciplinary subject, ENSEA graduates work in different sectors, including public and private administrations, regional and international organizations.

At a partnership meeting held on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, between ENSEA's Director Kouadio K. Hugues and Professor Weade Kobbah-Boley, Head of the UL Management Team, a discussion on possible ways and means of establishing a school of statistics at the UL to help train more Liberia statisticians was advanced.

According to Prof. Boley, the group is seeking the partnership with the UL to do training at all levels in statistics and economics.

"They are looking at how to help train our professors and students at the intermediate level and that can go up to the PhD level," she disclosed, adding that "ENSEA is also looking at setting up a tutorial school for applied statistics and fundamentals at the UL."

She said the group is currently working with the African Union (AU) to begin a regional school for training. According to Prof. Kobbah-Boley, the group is convinced that its work with UL will yield positive outcome, such as the drawing up of strategies for the support of training, not only in la Côte d'Ivoire, but starting off with certificate programs at the UL that can evolve into a Bachelor of Science in Statistics and, later on, a Master of Science (MSc), culminating in a PhD program.

She said that the UL is interested in such a partnership and is looking forward to moving the discussion to another level where terms and conditions for such partnership can be agreed upon.

"We believe working together, we can be able to influence public policy because most of the works done in all sectors requires statistics," she said.

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