A Rwf7 billion statistical training centre that’s under construction at the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) headquarters in Nyarugenge District will significantly impact on the quality of the country’s data collection, analysis and management across different sectors, officials have said.
Yusuf Murangwa, the General Director of NISR, told The New Times this week that the six-storey complex, whose construction works started in July last year, is scheduled to be completed late this year and inaugurated early 2018.
“The idea is to build more capacity for practicing statisticians to have the skills necessary to generate statistics that inform decision-making and therefore impact the country,” he said.
He said there is continuous need to build the capacity of both the people who produce statistics and those who need to use it. “They need real hands-on skills,” he said.
He added: “We are putting up this training centre to train, first and foremost, our staff in how best they can do their job in a professional way, it’s not for academic purposes, it will serve those already in the field”.
At NISR, Murangwa said, there are statisticians for different sectors and the training centre will help polish their skills in their respective sectors.
He added that there is a plan to turn the proposed facility into a regional training centre in statistics.
Training at the centre will be undertaken by people who are already in the field of statistics and only want to upgrade or specialise, he said.
“This training will be too short and professional, something like an evening programme of sorts for one, two or three weeks,” the statistics body chief said.
How will the centre contribute to data interpretation and utilisation in the country? “It will have impact on data management because when you build capacity for many people, of course, it translates to abilities to use statistics and understand how they are related to policies and development. The more people with capacity the better and that is what we are aiming for,” he explained.
The Mayor of Huye District, Eugene Kayiranga Muzuka, welcomed the effort to establish the training centre saying it will impact development programmes. “I think it’s a great idea that everyone need to support,” he said.
Jacques Gasasira, a statistician with Kicukiro District, said: “Academic institutions will give you general professionals (statisticians), but with the proposed training centre we can get specialist statisticians in specific fields.”
“At the moment, we tend to be mixing up stuff but more capacity building will streamline things,” he said.