Former statistician general Pali Lehohla honoured by University of KZN

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JOHANNESBURG, April 24 – The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has awarded Dr. Pali Lehohla, former Statistician General and head of Statistics South Africa, with an honorary doctorate, the university said on Tuesday.

The university made the award on Monday night in recognition of his unprecedented role in evidence-based decision-making and advocating for statistics in policy making in South Africa.

In a statement, the university said Lehohla was the Statistician General of South Africa and head of Statistics South Africa from 2000 to 2017, and under his leadership, Statistics South Africa became a dynamic, knowledge creation centre producing relevant information for policy planning and implementation.

“He was responsible for improving the skills of Statistics SA officials in generating and using statistics, resulting in the forging of innovative partnerships with various higher education institutions. He also helped improve the state of official statistics in the rest of Africa and internationally,” the university said.

Lehohla also served as the Chair of the Africa Symposium for Statistical Development, an initiative which aims to put statistical evidence at the centre of policy in Africa. He was also Chair of the United Nations Statistics Commission, Chair of Statistics Commission Africa, and Chair of PARIS21 – a global partnership for statistical development in the 21st Century – the statement added.

“He has served as an advisor to in-conflict, post-conflict and fragile political environments, and was also Chief Advisor to the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee of the 2008 Population and Housing Census of Sudan which was part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005.

“Lehohla served as a UN envoy to the Census of Cambodia; he undertook a Population Census readiness mission in Afghanistan and another in Iraq; served as Vice- President of the International Statistics Institute (ISI), and led the hosting of the 57th Session of the ISI held in Durban in 2009,” the university said .

– African News Agency (ANA)