Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In a momentous stride towards ushering Sierra Leone into the digital age and ensuring universal access to education, Sierra Leone has unveiled plans to dispatch its inaugural cohort of technologists for intensive training and skill development at the renowned Giga Technology Centre located in Barcelona, Spain. This ground-breaking announcement unfolded during the SD Digital Day event held as part of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Giga, a visionary global initiative masterminded by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), has an ambitious mission: to connect every school across the globe to the boundless resources of the Internet. Sierra Leone has embraced this transformative initiative through the Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation (DSTI).
Made possible through the benevolent contributions of the governments of Spain, Catalonia, and Barcelona, the Giga Technology Center stands as the epicenter of Giga’s open-source technology innovations, primarily dedicated to crafting connectivity solutions tailored for governments.
In early 2024, Sierra Leone will embark on an exciting chapter in its technological evolution by dispatching a team of five gifted and promising developers to collaborate closely with Giga’s esteemed technology experts at the Giga Technology Center. Alongside technologists from other Giga partner nations, this pioneering cohort will actively engage in co-creating cutting-edge products, with a particular emphasis on mapping, data science, and blockchain-based accounting platforms.
Salima Monorma Bah, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Communication, Technology, and Innovation, radiated enthusiasm as she remarked, “Sending our young developers to the Giga Technology Centre presents a golden opportunity for them to acquire invaluable skills and collaborate on technology solutions that are intricately tailored to our nation’s unique needs and context. This endeavour will serve as a catalyst for our nation’s progress.”
Through its dynamic partnership with Giga, Sierra Leone has achieved remarkable milestones in mapping every school within its borders, a critical foundation for a comprehensive strategy for school connectivity. Over the past year, Sierra Leone has also celebrated the successful connection of 42 schools through this transformative initiative, a feat that unlocked a substantial $5 million contribution from the Islamic Development Bank to bolster connectivity projects.
The newly forged collaboration with the Giga Technology Centre in Barcelona represents an epochal moment, propelling Sierra Leone closer to its audacious aspiration of linking every school and every student to the vast universe of knowledge available through the Internet. This endeavour not only facilitates educational advancement but also lays the groundwork for Sierra Leone’s broader socio-economic development.
As Sierra Leone’s technologists embark on their journey to Barcelona, the nation eagerly anticipates the innovative solutions and transformative change they will bring back home. OG/19/9/2023