With an overarching aim of strengthening the quantity and quality of professionals and experts in agricultural statistics in Africa, the training component of the Global Strategy to improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics strives to guarantee the availability of demand based and focused training options across the continent. This is being achieved by developing short, medium and long-term training programmes and syllabi and curricula in close collaboration with the research component of the Global Office as well as with the respective statistical training centers in Africa. One of the most important training activities currently taking place is the Specialization Programme in Agricultural Statistics, which is being implemented through the four training centers: ENSEA-Abidjan, ENSAE-Dakar, ISSAE-Yaoundé and EASTC-Tanzania.
The programme is a separate or stand-alone programme, its outcome being a postgraduate diploma or related qualification. It is designed to be practical and principally intended for professionals already working in the area of agriculture e.g. NSOs. The contents and structure of this programme has been extensively discussed and validated through an expert group meeting that was held in Dakar (Senegal) in January 2016. The expert group was composed of academic institutions such as statistical training centers and universities, national statistical organizations, regional organizations and members of the African Group on Statistical Training and Human Resources Development (AGROST). This year, it is envisaged that 40 statisticians will specialize in agricultural statistics and obtain a postgraduate qualification in the field. The selected students have already enrolled and commenced their studies in Tanzania, Abidjan and Dakar.