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Statistics and Probability African Society Now a Reality

1 January 2011 1,505 views No Comment

On World Statistics Day, members of the Statistics and Probability African Society in Senegal organize a training session for secondary teachers about using the statistics package R.

The Statistics and Probability African Society (SPAS) is now official. Five years ago, an initiative under the same name was launched online by African statisticians and probability theory specialists. At the same time, the journal Afrika Statistika was born. Very soon after, both projects received significant interest from young researchers and statisticians and probability specialists from African universities.

A database of African specialists was created on the website, and more people have registered to show support for the project. Meanwhile, the journal has been published once a year, with the papers indexed by international mathematical databases such as MathSciNet.

SPAS emerged as a society for the first time at the 57th International Statistical Institute (ISI) conference (PDF download) in Durban, South Africa. Recently, members of the society have been involved in the ISI’s International Statistical Literacy Project.

The main objective of SPAS is to contribute to the development of random methods (statistics and probability theory) at both the African and international levels by promoting fundamental and applied research and training. The society also emphasizes participation in Africa’s development challenges.

Being unable to physically gather for a general assembly, members of SPAS used the Internet to hold a virtual general assembly. After three months, resolutions were adopted. Now, the executive committee is developing a strategic development document that includes plans to foster and enlarge statistics and probability training programs, promote random methods in Africa, carry out African-level research programs on specific challenges, and provide bridges between official statistics and academia.

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