latest news

latest news (3)

More than 200 scholars and students attended the Sixth African International Conference on Statistics in Adama, Ethiopia, in late May. The large attendance once again demonstrates the need and desire for advanced statistical research on this underserved continent.

The concept of the conference series started with Bimal Sinha and a small group of his colleague statisticians from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). They envisioned teaming up with a cosponsoring university in Africa for local arrangements. Despite many hassles in arranging international conferences, the UMBC team took the attitude (or perhaps borrowed it from Nike) to “just do it.” The resulting conferences have provided anopportunity for an African audience to listen to, mingle with, and learn from a distinguished group of international statisticians.

 

 

From a small initial conference in Senegal, the conference has grown annually as it has made its way through Ethiopia, Cameroon, South Africa, Botswana, and back to Ethiopia. Each year, the UMBC statisticians work with a university in Africa to coordinate all the logistics of the meeting. This year, Arsi University was the co-host. As a measure of their interest, Arsi’s president, Duguma Debele, took a personal interest in the conference. He not only oversaw the arrangements, but personally attended sessions and had the distinguished invitees plant trees on the construction site of the expanded Arsi campus.

 Duguma Debele, president of Arsi University, and Bimal Sinha, professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County

 

 

Parallel to the conference, Arsi University hosted “A Workshop for Women Academics in Ethiopia: Empowering Women for Academic Leadership Through Achievers’ Network.” The idea for the workshop came from Debele in response to a request for volunteering opportunities during the conference by the spouses of many delegates. The workshop was coordinated and facilitated by Chetana Neerchal, senior accounting officer at the International Finance Corporation and a spouse and regular attendee of the AIC series.

The three-hour workshop was inaugurated by Engedaye Eshete, president of the Ethiopian Women Entrepreneurs Association. It was attended by more than 100 women academics (undergraduates, graduates, PhD students, professors, and a few administrative staff). The women speakers included four professors (one from Sri Lanka, one from the US, and two from Ethiopia), 1 PhD student (from Sudan/USA), and a psychologist (from a Kolkata NGO that combats women trafficking). Each presentation was followed by enthusiastic Q&As and a 20-minute session on speaking/presentation skills.

 

In addition to providing technical talks, the conference set the stage for several African students to pursue graduate studies in the US, for faculty to arrange visiting stints at American universities, and for many to become involved in collaborative research projects. In fact, this year’s UMBC coordinator, Yehenew Kifle, was originally a professor in Africa and is now on a tenure track at UMBC.

Of course, no conference would ignore local pleasures such as hand-roasted coffee freshly brewed in front of you at each meal.

In 2019, the ASA provided financial assistance for the conference, which enabled more students and educators to attend. Stay tuned for next year in Ghana!

The women’s program attracted a full house

 

 

        

 

 

A Tree Grows in Ethiopia
Arsi University in Asela, Ethiopia, was the cosponsoring university for the May 2019 Sixth African International Conference on Statistics. The conference garnered the personal interest of Duguma Debele, the university president. In fact, he proudly showed the invited international guests the new (under construction) university campus. Amidst the dirt, mud, and construction equipment, Debele had a big surprise: trees to be permanently planted on campus in honor of the guests. As the ASA was a sponsor of the conference, there was indeed an ASA tree. In the photo are Debele and former ASA President Barry Nussbaum moments after the ASA tree was planted. The sign is cemented in place, so it is the ASA tree for the next 200 years or so.

 To see the news on The Membership Magnize of American Statical Assocaition use the following link 

Under the notion of empowering the youths’ community service project, Arsi University provides 60 oxen and 1005 hens to youth associations so that they can be economically productive and to minimize the burden of unemployment in the surroundings.

This can also help the youths to improve their live and support others in the community. Paralleling to this, the University team leading by Vice president for Research and Community Services H.E. Dr. Kasim Kimo plants seedling to foster the green legacy project of the country. In addition to this, Arsi University has been working hard to rescue Lake Demble through various activities mobilizing the surrounding society to development activities. So far, the university has spent more than 4 million birr to organize the unemployed group of the society in 5 associations so as to involve in the economic sector which has been facilitated by Arsi University. The youths and the residents appreciate the interest of Arsi University to create a working environment for the youths who are productive, but they do not have means to improve their living condition. On the occasion, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Mr. Misbahu Aman extends his invaluable advice to the youth associations to work hard and support others who do not have the chance to involve themselves in any of economic activities. Lastly, country elders, district and kebele administration officials, youths and university representatives participate attend the episode.

With the splendid theme of strategies for the development of Ethiopian dairy industry through cooperation with Korean Government, the workshop is opened by Dr. Kasim Kimo, Vice – President of Research and Community Service and Acting Academic Vice- President of Arsi University opening speech. In his opening speech, the Vice-president appreciates the interest of Korean government to work with Arsi University enhancing the productivity of dairy industry sector. On the workshop, three papers have been presented to entertain the philosophical and scientific aspects of the Korean government trend and experience in Arsi University. The presenters clearly compare the livestock industry experience of Korean and Ethiopian livestock sector. The presenters are Professor Mooha Lee from Seoul National University and Dr. Ulfina Gelmessa Associate professor of dairy technology, senior researcher at Ethiopian institute of agriculture. It is awesomely interesting workshop to create exposures for our university researchers and scientists to the development of dairy industry.