Sierra Leone and the Gates Foundation strengthened their relationship over the weekend in South Africa where President Bio secured the latter’s support for an Innovation in Government Incubator at the Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation.
President Maada Bio was at the Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg with other world leaders committed to the Sustainable Development Goals. It was there that the nation’s top Goalkeeper reiterated his commitment to human development and innovation.
“We have to first rely on ourselves,” said President Bio to a crowd of sixty thousand Global Citizens at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
“By investing our African resources in free, quality teaching and learning, we are investing in our human capital and empowering our youth to be the generation that will end poverty in our time.”
President Bio also announced that his government had created an Innovation in Government Incubator within the Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation. This new initiative was lauded and welcomed by the Gates Foundation.
“We are pleased to support the launch of this project as it is a clear commitment from the government of Sierra Leone to invest in human capital,” said Mark Suzman, President, Global Policy and Advocacy at the Gates Foundation.
“In prioritizing innovation and human capital, Sierra Leone is in a better position to kick-start its development. This approach can also provide a blueprint for other fast-growing developing countries trying to make the most of their youth boom”.
Sierra Leone’s Innovation in Government Incubator (IGI) will be a hub for local start-ups, private, public and academic organizations to collaborate on projects that will help citizens access government services and information more efficiently. It will also provide an opportunity for young people to participate, innovate and solve challenges in their local communities.
“At the Innovation in Government Incubator partners will share data, build models, develop hypotheses and test pilot projects to inform government investments in human capital,” said Dr. Sengeh, Chief Innovation Officer, Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation.
The ultimate goal of the IGI is to create a space for local talent across all sectors to develop solutions to enhance government service delivery. Technology will Sierra Leone the edge it needs to accomplish its Sustainable Development Goals.