Dr. Savas Alpay, Director General of SESRIC, delivered a General Lecture at the Institute of Statistics (STIS), a higher education institution on statistics administered by BPS-Statistics Indonesia, in Jakarta, Indonesia on 25 January 2012. The General Lecture was attended by the faculty and more than 1000 students of the STIS. The theme of the General Lecture delivered by Dr. Alpay was “Challenges and Prospects for Socio-Economic Development in the Islamic World”.
Before the General Lecture of Dr. Alpay, Dr. Wendy Hartanto, Director of the STIS, delivered an introductory speech on the profile of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Prof. Dr. Abuzar Asra from BPS-Statistics Indonesia moderated the General Lecture. Dr. Savas Alpay divided his General Lecture into three main parts:
In the first part, Dr. Alpay reviewed the recent developments in the World economy. During the second part of the General Lecture, Dr. Alpay evaluated the relative economic performance of OIC Member Countries in comparison with other developing countries, developed countries as well as the World as a whole by focusing on a broad spectrum of major economic indicators including output growth, trade, investments, inflation, unemployment, external debt and capital flows.
In the third part of the General Lecture, Dr. Alpay drew the attention of the audience to the key findings of the recent SESRIC report titled “SWOT Outlook on OIC Member Countries”, the first study of its kind published in 2011 for the purpose of raising awareness about the key strengths and the opportunities that the OIC Member Countries possess as a group while turning the spotlight on the major weaknesses and threats they are facing. Based on the analyses given in the said publication, Dr. Savas stated in the General Lecture that OIC Member Countries had a good and significant potential for improving their competitiveness both at regional and international levels. This could be achieved not only by chasing the more profitable opportunities, but also by identifying the existing strength and future opportunities as well as strengthening the socio-economic cooperation among the OIC Member Countries.
Dr. Alpay also emphasized the vital role of statistics in the process of policy-making by mentioning that effective use of the data produced by the National Statistics Offices leads to better progress and higher welfare in the societies. Dr. Alpay added that sound policy-making should also be consolidated with the inclusion of complete, valid, consistent, timely, accurate, and unbiased statistics. Dr. Alpay concluded that statisticians can make very important and effective contribution for the best usage of limited resources available in the OIC Member Countries.
The question and answer session held after the General Lecture was very lively. A lot of questions on a diverse set of issues have been asked by quite a number of students. After the lecture, Dr. Alpay expressed his appreciation for the attention, enthusiasm and challenging questions asked by the STIS students. He also added that the STIS model could be made as an example for the other OIC Member Countries. Dr. Alpay completed his lecture and the Q&A session by giving a set of advices that the students can make use of in their future career plans. The BPS-Statistics Indonesia and STIS deemed the General Lecture delivered by Dr. Alpay as a great honour and opportunity for developing statistical capacity of their human resources.