‘Drones in Salone’ – weekly webinar kicks-off May 15 – join conversation

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 May 2020:

Sierra Leone’s government Department for Science and Technological Innovation (DSTI), will be hosting a weekly webinar to examine the use of drones before, during, and after the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Sierra Leone has the only national drone corridor in West Africa, the second on the continent after Malawi.

The “Drones in Salone” webinar is a platform for  policymakers, regulators and private sector drone experts to discuss emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities and benefits in the local drone ecosystem.

Drone enthusiasts, innovators, media and the general public  are invited to participate in the panel discussion every Friday starting May 15, 2:00 PM GMT via Zoom.

The theme for the first panel discussion is “The Role of Drones in the Covid-19 Response”.

Speakers include; Edmond Nonie, UNICEF;  David Manley, DSTI; Koiguma Baimba, Flying Labs Sierra Leone; James Houghton, Crown Agents Sierra Leone; Samuel Nonie, TYB Holdings; and Michael Duff, Drone Video Journalist.

The UNICEF backed Drone Corridor was launched in December 2019 by H.E. Julius Maada Bio, a demonstration of Sierra Leone’s high-level commitment to technology and innovation.

Since the launch of the corridor,  drones have been used for medical delivery and most recently for surveillance during the government-mandated lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Next week the “Drones in Salone” Webinar will take place on May 22, at 2:00 PM with guests including; Minister and Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Moinina David Sengeh, and representatives from the World Bank Sierra Leone and the World Economic Forum. Visit @DSTISierraLeone on Facebook and Twitter for weekly updates.

11 Comments

  1. If we had enough pragmatic minds like Mr Daboh,in our beloved Sierra Leone today,i am quite sure,all progress that would be attained would certainly be only that which is absolutely essential,and urgently needed, to enhance the standards of livings of our millions languishing in abject poverty.First things first,tackle poverty,with vigilance at its stubborn foundations, and grassroots level,by investing heavily in vocational,and technical skills training,and Agriculture. Next,invest decisively, and wisely in affordable housing,with the ultimate goal of eradicating slum communities in Sierra Leone forever.

    These are urgently needed programs that change lives for the better,why waste our meager resources in these difficult, hard, Covid 19 times on needless Drones.There will be a time in the future for massive investments in technology but that time is still far away – keep the drones,give people three square meals a day first,and a safe,warm,hygienic home to live in…Its called changing lives,helping men fulfill destines,by keeping our priorities in order.

  2. For a nation to be inline with 21st century development, a modern technology platform is a must for its citizens. Drone technology in Sierra Leone is the correct path that will help improve our health, agricultural, educational and other sectors rapidly to catch up with the rapid global development index.

  3. I think for Sierra Leone to be food sufficient, technology plays 99% role in that sector. The era of peasant farming has gone half a century ago. I welcome the use of drones 100%.

  4. This is indeed a great achievement for the people of Sierra Leone – my beloved home. Let us first embrace the use of a new age technology and then give the Government the chance to expand it to the private sector. Giving food, infrastructure, good health facility, security to name a few, start with good technology. With the new age of technology incorporated into Agriculture called “precision agriculture or satellite farming” this will definitely bring job opportunities in the Country for the youths as well as security. Thanks to all for this wonderful achievement and I would love to be part of it.

  5. Since President Bio created the DSTI department, I was optimistic that our country is on the verge of transforming the young generation and also prepared for the next millennium. Dr. David Sengeh who belongs to The Young Generation ( Gen Y) is not only recognized and respected by one of the greatest presidents in the history of the USA – President Barack Obama but also from the richest man and philanthropist in the world – Mr. Bill Gates.

    He has been an inspiration for all the youths in Sierra Leone and I hope that all patriotic Sierra Leonean will give him and his team a moral boost by simply COMMENDING him and his entire team. May the Almighty continue to bless them with wisdom and understanding. Amen and Ameen.

  6. The use of drones should not be sneered at rather it should be embrace.Being a developing country should not exclude us from the use of the latest technological advancement the human race has to offer. Rather we should embrace it with with all the enthusiasm it bring. This is the future. Artificial intelligence is right round the corner. So our government should invest in scientific research and technology to prepare our young for the world that lie’s ahead.

    If we take the case of Sierra Leone, where our roads are atrocious due to government lack of investment on road construction, it will come as a welcome relief for patients who fall ill and can’t get to hospital on time in the hard to reach villages for use of drones to deliver medicine just in time to save life. Since this government came to power all road construction in my area in the north, I can’t speak for the south, east or west, because I haven’t visited that part of the country, have virtually been bought to standstill pending renegotiation of a new contract. So the use of drones can also help famers to help map out their lands.

    Rwanda is one country that is making use of technology to develop their country. The only people that are holding us back are our corrupt political class – one determined individual is capable of changing the fortunes of a country. Paul Kegema of Rwanda and Jerry Rawlings in the eighties. Before Jerry Rawlings took power for the second time, Ghana was in economic meltdown,they use to come and buy their essentials believe it or not in Sierra Leone. So it is up to president Bio to get rid off all the the short sighted people or advisers around him that preach tribal politics and get on with the job of rebuilding our country. I think if the President where to do that, he will have his work cut out towards developing the country we all call home.

  7. Give food, education, good health facilities, security, freedom unity and justice, infrastructure and jobs to the youths and the people of Sierra Leone, first before you start to talk about drones, drones and drones.

  8. While president Bio deserves to be commended for prioritizing digital incorporation into the governing ecosystem of our nation, the focus on drone technology is some what a misplace priority. Yes, we need technological advancement, however, our strive to do so will only be sustainable if we build the infrastructure that is required. I was privy on reporting from other news outlet that, the government in partnership with our international donors, have procured a large consignment of fiber optic cabling that had been delivered in the nation. It’s my understanding that these fibers optics will be utilize to finalize the last mile—making sure that major provincial cities have point of presence (POP) of the fiber optic data transmission.

    It’s my hope that, the government will allocate more resources towards this project rather than the not so beneficial drone technology. Kudos to young patriotic Sierra Leoneans like Dr. David Sengeh and Edmond Nonie for serving as good citizens and bringing the technological age at our nation’s doorstep. Thanks to president Bio for empowering this young talent crop of Sierra Leoneans. I am hoping the DSTI is translated into a permanent subsidiary of government through an act of parliament soon.

  9. Drones and its technology will not be sustained without Food sufficiency . Lets start this development thing from scratch with adequate food production as priority. You can never jump A in the alphabet to fly to D- you see the reason for the vowels. We think just because its the 21st century and many are in the tech bandwagon, so we should be there too without sustaining our food development.

    Indeed, its 21 century, but our development is still in the 18th century mode, whilst our thinking is in the 19th century. The unsustainable amount of revenue spent on food importation every year could be saved to sustain the technological progress we yearn for without begging. Without food sufficiency, nothing will work .

    • @Hahsim Daboh, man shall not live on bread alone. Trust me if we build our technology world better, even the agricultural work will become very easy were we will be using drones to spray fertilizers in large scale production farms as you are wishing. Let us embrace the new age technology and see how best government will expand its use through the private sector. Kudos to our young and dynamic focus drone engineers especially to you my mentor Dr. Sengeh and course mate from FBC Samuel Nonie. I am really happy and proud of you brother.

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