Sierra Leone Telegraph: 30 October 2018:
President Julius Maada Bio has unveiled Sierra Leone’s first Directorate of Science and Technology (DST) at State House, to support government’s delivery on development and boost innovation and entrepreneurship.
Chief Minister, Professor David Francis, who chaired the ceremony and had presided over its creation, said the directorate would use science, technology and innovation to deliver key aspects of government business in the areas of e-health, e-government, e-education and e-security.
He assured the gathering that the team of young and brilliant minds would work across government departments and agencies to change the future of Sierra Leone though science, technology and innovation.
He said this this would also improve technology, create wealth, boost education and sustainable development and transform the country.
The newly appointed Chief Innovation Officer at the Directorate, Dr Moinina David Sengeh (Photo above), said that science, technology and innovation are vital to solving twenty-first-century problems, adding that scientific research would produce discoveries to improve lives and societies.
The young scientist also added that there are prospects for technological breakthroughs that would revolutionise commerce and knowledge-sharing. He disclosed that innovation would inspire people to seek new solutions to persistent problems.
David Sengeh confirmed that his office has in the last few months, collaborated across government and other institutions in and out of Sierra Leone. He stated that his office would work with the Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority, in particular, to introduce an Electronics Cash Register system that would help improve revenue mobilisation in the country.
He said he is working closely with the Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority, where they have already used available data to discover that 281,000 government vehicles were registered during the past ten years, and that 4,694 of the 281,000 government owned vehicles were unaccounted for by the former government.
He promised to work with the ministries of education and health to make their organisations effective through technology and innovation.
Officially declaring the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation open to the public, President Julius Maada Bio thanked Dr Sengeh for accepting his offer to join him in translating his dream of transforming Sierra Leone through science, technology and innovation.
He told the gathering that he has created the DST to enhance human capacity development and to create the enabling environment for local and foreign innovators to freely invest in the country. He added that innovation was good for Sierra Leone, the economy and people.
President Bio assured the team at DST of his government’s commitment to not only supporting the initiative financially, but to also making sure that they deliver for the ultimate success and growth of the country.
Whilst supporters of the government regard the new DSTI department as a useful initiative, critics and doubters say that until the government can improve access to electricity and its reliability, investing in technology and innovation will always be waste of resources.