Freetown, 24/08/21: Chief Census Officer for the 2021 Mid-Term Population and Housing Census, Prof Osman Sankoh, COR (Mallam O), has urged trainees to put nation first as they dispense their duties in the upcoming Mid-Term Population and Housing Census. He stated this as Stats SL concluded a 12 days training aimed at capacitating 17 Stats SL staff with high-level skills on CSPro, the software needed for the CAPI application support ahead of the Mid-Term Census, at the Multi-purpose Hall at Fourah Bay College in Freetown.
Giving an insight into the learnings and modules covered at the training, the Director of Data Science Division, Theophilus Blaudfaust, who played a vital role in the training, said that the CSPro experts training had developed the capacity of few carefully picked participants. He furthered that these participants now understand and can manage and operate the CAPI software application efficiently, providing credible and transparent data ahead of the Mid-Term Census.
Elaborating on the expected outcomes of the training and its impact on the 2021 Mid Term Census, the Director of Censuses, GIS and Environment, who doubles as the National Census Coordinator, Abdulai Brima, explained that the CAPI training was a key milestone in the progress of the Mid-Term Census, which he opined as a marvellous achievement. He continued by applauding trainees for the dedication and zeal they demonstrated during the training. Mr Brima assured the Management of Stats SL and other partners present that the two weeks training was a success, having himself participated and supervised each training session.
Trainees gave testimonies on what they learnt from the training, starting with two female participants from the GIS Section. Isata Blake, said that she had been equipped with the understanding of what the back end of the CAPI is and the coding methodology of identifying chiefdoms, towns and sections. Finda Sheriff stated that the training was an opportunity for her and a laudable venture from management for capacitating young Statisticians with the required skills necessary for the accomplishment of a credible Mid-Term Population Census.
Two male participants continued with the testimonies. Isheka Turay acknowledged that the CAPI training was his first ever experience in handling such a sophisticated software and with the skills acquired, he could point out errors and effectively manipulate the CAPI software. Ibrahim Koedoyoma thanked Stats SL for the opportunity presented and stated that he felt accomplished and equipped to pass on the knowledge gained to others he would be training.
The UNFPA Population Census Coordination Specialist, Dr. Baris Ucar, noted that it was a pleasure being part of the entire process whilst underscoring the progress and improvement of trainees within a short period. He said he was pleased with the Ghanaian consultant, Kwamena, for effectively training the participants and expressed delight with the entire process.
In his short statement, the Ghanaian consultant, Kwamena acknowledged that he enjoyed the enthusiasm and commitment of the participants. He concluded that he was convinced that the trainees will deliver effectively with the knowledge they have grasped of the CAPI application.
Making a statement to formally close the training, the Statistician General and Chief Census Officer, Professor Osman Sankoh (Mallam O), commended trainees and encouraged them to be FAIR, have INTEGRITY, be ACCOUNTABLE and TRANSPARENT which he said is the FIAT mantra of his ‘ Bongology’ philosophy. He furthered that Sierra Leone was among the first countries in Africa to do both a digital cartography and full digital census. As such, he noted that Sierra Leone would be a point of call to provide expertise to other counties that will want to undertake a digital census in the near future. He urged trainees to therefore put nation first in the execution of their respective tasks and deliver on a credible census. Mallam O. thanked the Ghanaian consultant, the Deputy Statistician General, the National Census Coordinator, the Director of Data Science, the UNFPA expert and all who supported the training. He then formally declared the training closed.
In a thank you statement, Olive Odia, the Section head for Website and Portal thanked Stats SL Council and Management for the opportunity accorded to the trainees to partake in such a national event. She concluded by extending her sincere gratitude to the consultant and Directors of Stats SL for their unflinching support.
Also in attendance were the Director of Communication and Public Relations of Stats SL, Samuel Ansumana, who chaired the programme and the Project Coordinator for the World Bank HISWA Project, Albert Bangura-Will.
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