Coder at work. Credit: Shutterstock.

Building data science knowledge, capacity and skills sits at the heart of digital transformation in Africa, enabling innovation and driving better data across the continent. 

That’s why the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data and African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) are partnering with National Statistical Offices across Sub-Saharan Africa to run a Data Science Fellowship. The Fellowship aims to strengthen the skills and capacity of institutions to use data science tools  and analytics to enhance data and statistical processes and outcomes.

Data Science Fellows are embedded in National Statistical Offices: to offer mentorship and knowledge; advise on internal procedures and guidelines for data capacity and projects; and support the development of algorithms and processes that will enable institutions to effectively deliver on their data and statistical mandates. NSOs will come up with specific problem statements or use cases to work through with Fellows. These use cases  will be new or ongoing projects that meet the institution’s mandates and that could benefit from the enhancements of data science skills and capacity. 

The program runs across Spring and Summer of 2021 and is structured around the following stages: 

  1. Training: AIMS will deliver a modular-type comprehensive training that covers basic and advanced data science topics.
  2. Project scoping: Participants from each host institution are asked to select a key project problem from their unit - for data science application in agriculture statistics.
  3. Solution and process co-creation: AIMS Alumni members become Data Science Fellows embedded in partner NSOs to support an NSO in developing and deepening data science skills, and collaborating on a specific project. 
  4. Mentorship: after the initial project phase, Fellows will continue supporting their host institution through mentoring.
  5. Continual learning cycle: regular monitoring and learning support from GPSDD will ensure reflective learning throughout the Fellowship.