A global data analyst whose crowning glory is Statistics Sierra Leone

"In case you haven't heard, I am leaving the INDEPTH NETWORK to head Statistics Sierra Leone as Statistician-General," the exclusive email read. "I will start April 2018."

You heard?!

Then give it up for Prof. Osman Alimamy Sankoh, also known as Mallam O.

Mallam O is an associate professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He is also a visiting professor at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences at the University of Sierra Leone.

To his fans, Statistics Sierra Leone is Mallam O's crowning glory. He's not just the writer of Hybrid Eyes and publisher of the fledgling Sierra Leonean Writers Series, he is Salone's data king!

Over the past eighteen years, the German-trained statistician has taught Sierra Leoneans online about numbers. Whether it is conducting a population or census survey, collating records and data, Mallam O has promoted the beauty of numerical information.

Born in the backwaters of rural Warima, northern Sierra Leone, he's stressed the importance of statistics in Malaria, and other environmental matters at the national, regional, and local level.

No stranger to teamwork, Mallam O, as Indepth Network chief executive officer, conducted research based on Health and Demographic Surveillance System field sites in low- and middle-income countries. He worked with university chancellors. bank governors, commerce presidents and captains of industry in the area of quality statistics and on strategies for improving data production as well as government statistical policy.

Statistics Sierra Leone supervises and manages a national population census to be conducted every ten years; does work on labor statistics, gender, disability, and socioeconomic issues in accordance with national and international standards and classifications.

STATS SL, as Prof. Sankoh wants the agency to be known, compiles statistical data, maintains libraries of statistical publications and makes them accessible to the public. The agency promotes coordination and integration of statistical activities of the Bank of Sierra Leone and Ministry of Finance to create awareness of statistical collection.

STATS SL also promotes statistical training in the collection of data including:

Birth and deaths, Immigration and emigration, trade, production, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, factories, mines and productive industries, employment and unemployment, salaries, wages, bonuses,
profits, fixed capital assets, Industrial disputes, banking, insurance, and finance, health, transport and communication, injuries, accidents and compensation, land tenure, national accounts, Gender, environment, household income and expenditure, tourism, and poverty.

"I am delighted for Sierra Leone that it will benefit from your expertise and leadership as Statistician-General," said Dr. Ruth Levine in the same email.

Levine is director of the global development and population program for The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

"You have played a pivotal role in developing demographic and statistical capacity throughout the region during your service to the INDEPTH Network; as a long-time funding partner of the INDEPTH Secretariat, we have certainly admired all that you have done," wrote  Levine. 

***Below are other congratulatory messages Prof. Sankoh has received from INDEPTH board members.

" You will always be fondly remembered for your dedication and commitment towards making INDEPTH better and better. On behalf of the Board, I say a Big Thank You and wish you the very best in all your future endeavours." - Prof Tumani Corrah, Chair, INDEPTH Board, The Gambia/UK

"This is great news for our country of Sierra Leone as well as great personal recognition for you."
- Prof. Peter Byass, Chair, INDEPTH Scientific Advisory Committee, UK/Sweden

"This is great news! I am really happy for you that you are scaling higher heights! May you excel in your new functions & may God's favour rest upon you." - Dr. Josephine Odera, Board Member, Kenya

"I know that you will bring a tremendous amount to this post. Wishing you all the best for the future."
- Prof Mia Crampin, Board Member, Malawi

" I'm glad that your hard work has propelled you to this enviable position of Statistician General of your country. All I owe you is prayers for you to continue to excel since you always have this Midas touch to anything you come across. Good luck and may the good Lord give you the wisdom, strength, and grace to carry out this onerous task." - Prof Oche Oche, Board Member, Nigeria

"Please accept my heartiest Congratulations on your new position. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and look forward to future opportunities for collaboration." - Prof. Muluemebet Abera Wordofa, Board Member, Ethiopia

"Congratulations! I'm very happy for you and many thanks for the tremendous work you have done for INDEPTH. I look forward to future collaborations in many aspects of our work." -  Dr. Walter Otieno, Board Member, Kenya

"Congratulations on your appointment to such a high office in your country. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors." - Mrs. Nellie Taylor, Board Member, Zambia

"I congratulate you and all of us to have a high qualified friend!" - Prof Nguyenthikim Chuc, Board Member, Vietnam

"This appointment is a proof of your achievements and also a recognition of INDEPTH's relevance. Going back and work for your country is a noble move." - Dr. Ricardo Thompson, Board Member, Mozambique

"Now we in the statistics community have the architect to drive the replication model for implementation nationwide." - Dr. Pali Lehohla, Board member, South Africa


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