Oliver ChinganyaOliver Chinganya, Director, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

I became of a member of the RSS in 1984 having been accepted for an Intermediate Level Statistical course in an In-Service Programme at the Central Statistical Office (CSO) of Zambia supported by the UN Population Fund. The Programme was for sub-professional statistical cadres who would later become professional statisticians after attaining further training abroad since there was no college or university in Zambia that offered statistical training. 

During the Intermediate course, I learnt that the RSS also offered a similar programme and registered as a student member of the RSS. I found this decision very beneficial because I gained from the education material on statistics produced by the RSS. I believe these materials contributed to me excelling further in statistics, and subsequently made it possible for me to be admitted in 1986 at the Eastern Africa Statistical Training Centre at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to undertake a Diploma programme in statistics. I was later admitted to Southampton University in the UK to undertake a postgraduate certificate in 1988 and an MSc in Statistics at the same university. And later on, I went to Sussex University at the Institute of Development Studies, to undertake other related studies.

Since joining the RSS, and my career has benefited from the breadth and depth of scientific discussions, information, and papers in newsletters and magazines. Being associated with the RSS has not only broadened my scope and knowledge in statistics, but also widened my network both in the region and at international level. Over the years I have found the RSS to be a good community of statistics practice and I am proud be part of this community.

I qualified as a Chartered Statistician in 1999 and through this affiliation, I became Chartered Scientist of the Science Council, London, in 2009. And since 2017 I have been a member of the RSS International Development Section, involved in its remit of maximising the Society’s influence in international development.

The association to RSS has led to other opportunities, such as being an elected member of the International Institute of Statistics (ISI) where I serve on some of its subsections and was also recently elected as the vice president of ISI (2021-2025).