The University of Liberia (UL) has launched a bachelor’s degree program in Statistics. The program is being sponsored by the World Bank Project to harmonize and improve statistics in West Africa (HISWA).
The Director General of the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) Francis Wreh said, collection, analysis, dissemination and integration of adequate statistical data for development is one of the age-old problems in Liberia.
Director Wreh noted that prior to the civil war here and after (1989 – 2003) the issue of statistics has been a concern both to government and the international community. “Very limited and scanty data were being generated to create room for planning and policymaking”, he added.
He explained that data collection to inform policymaking was tailored to the interest of those who wanted such information.
Director Wreh said there has been an array of problems hindering statistical production in Liberia, noting that Liberia had independence in 1847 but its first national census was held in 1962 after 115 years.
He indicated that censuses and surveys have been held at irregular intervals and there was no statistical training institution until a certificate program was established in 1980.
He pointed out that an act establishing the LISGIS was lately legislated in 2004, adding that the introduction of an undergraduate degree program is happening now in 2021.
Director Wreh stressed that the UL-LISGIS partnership under the HISWA capacity building project is a major component which the state-owned university has been identified to spearhead.
Meanwhile, the President of the University of Liberia, Dr. Julius JolokonSarwolo Nelson has encouraged recent graduates of the university to take advantage of the degree program in statistics to contribute to national development.
Dr. Nelson stressed that statistical development is critical for the socio- economic development of any nation. He said the development drive of any country should be based on adequate statistical data to inform policymakers to direct needed resources to the transform every sector of the country.