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SA hosting International Statistics Institute 2009

afrol News, 10 August - South Africa will be the first sub-Saharan African country to host the International Statistical Institute.

The 57th Session of the ISI 2009, will be held from 16 - 22 August in the coastal city of Durban.

"This is the first time in the history of ISI - which stretches back to 1885 - that this premier event for statisticians world-wide is being hosted in sub-Saharan Africa. The theme of ISI 2009 is Statistics: Our Past, Present & future," said a statement released by the Economic Commission for Africa at the weekend.

The statement further said the African Centre for Statistics (ACS) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is working closely with the hosts and providing substantive support to the conference.

ACS also said that hosting the conference in Africa is important as it will allow many more statisticians from the continent to attend. “The conference will contribute to increasing the capability of African countries in the compilation of quality statistics and to raising awareness of the importance of quality statistics for better development outcomes,” according to ACS.

Several ECA staffs are members of ISI, and ECA has already organised several events jointly with South Africa, including the African Symposium on Statistical Development and number of training workshops. ECA is also providing support to pre-ISI and post ISI events, including the meeting of the African Group on National Accounts, the International Comparison Programme and prices statistics, and population censuses.

Under the leadership of ACS, the members of the African Statistical Coordination Committee, that includes the African Development Bank, the African Union and the African Capacity Building Foundation, have agreed to amongst others, make this 57th ISI a truly African event by ensuring strong scientific contributions by African statisticians. The group has also committed to ensuring continuity after the ISI session.

Overall, over 100 scientific papers are expected to be presented and various short courses and satellite meetings will also take place.

The International Statistical Institute (ISI) is one of the world’s oldest scientific associations established in 1885 with the principal objective of promoting the understanding, development and good practice of statistics world wide. Its permanent office is located in The Hague, in the Netherlands and is composed of more than 2,000 individual elected members who are internationally recognised as the definitive leaders in the field of statistics. Its membership crosses all borders, representing more than 133 countries worldwide.

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