The Eastern Africa Statistical Training Centre (EASTC) is a Tanzanian institution with a regional character. It serves mainly the English-speaking countries of Eastern and Southern Africa. The vision of EASTC is to become a regional rapid response statistical resource centre and the centre of excellence in Africa for providing training, continuing professional development, research and consultancy in statistics. The mission of the EASTC is to promote the production and use of high quality statistical data needed for evidence-based decision-making by training the producers and users of statistics, providing statistical consultancy and research services, and being a regional statistical resource centre.
The EASTC offers two regular courses in statistics at sub-professional levels. The Certificate course takes ten months and the Diploma course takes an additional ten months after the certificate. Applied statistics and practical exercises using computer technology are emphasized to make the courses as practical as possible. Core subjects are Statistical Theory and Methods and Mathematics. In addition, Statistical Computing is taught as a working tool for statisticians and Economists as an area of statistical application.
While the bulk of trainees are nominees of national statistical offices, the EASTC also provides continuing education to practicing statistical professionals to bring them up to date with prevailing developments. In 2008/2009 there were 140 students enrolled in Certificate and Diploma courses and since its inception in 1965 there have been nearly 2600 enrolments in total. The Centre has a small core group of competent resident trainers. They work closely with the national statistics offices in user countries to keep abreast with what is happening in the field.
Regional and local courses are conducted at the Centre’s own initiative or on client demand. Regional courses conducted in the recent past include International Comparison of Prices statistical tool pack, at the request of the SADC secretariat and AfDB; adaptation of the System of National Accounts 1993 version for the Anglophone African region; Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire (CWIQ) surveys for Anglophone Africa; and archiving of statistical surveys, at the request of the World Bank and Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Local courses have included the operation of the local government database at the request of the Local Government Reform Programme, basic statistics for users and producers of statistics, statistics of the environment, statistical data analysis, report writing and dissemination at the request of the National Bureau of Statistics, and statistical computing.
EASTC is in the process of introducing a professional statistical degree program following a stakeholder’s market survey. The UK’s Royal Statistical Society accreditation for the degree program has been completed and an external examiner has been appointed.
Received September 2010