Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19 November 2019:
Last Wednesday, President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone visited tech giant Orange Laboratory in Paris. The President made this visit as part of his drive to promote foreign investment in Sierra Leone.
He was received by the senior global management of Orange, including the Chief Executive Officer of Orange Sierra Leone, Aminata Kane Ndiaye, and Ludovic Pech – Deputy CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa.
Director, Product Marketing and Design, Karine Dussert-Sarthe, spoke to the president about the Orange global brand and its innovation including Connectivity (5G and On-Demand Networks), Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Mobile Communication Services, Mobile Financial Services, eSIM and digital identity.
During a tour of the lab, the Orange executive also informed President Bio about four new innovations demo for Sierra Leone in the areas of E-education, Smart metering, Digital Identity and Big Data.
Discussing E-education, Thierry Coilhac spoke about the “Orange Campus” through which the company has used digital platforms to make quality education and training accessible to all.
The company executives said they have also collaborated with leaders of online training worldwide to provide content and services, using a dedicated low price mobile data offers.
Explaining the Smart-metering for utilities, Alain Tales said the smart-metering demo ensured that manual metering operation is automatic, billing accuracy and payment experience improves, adding that it also ensures fraud identification and resolution, monitoring of the low voltage grid and avoids blackouts.
The President and members of his delegation were also shown examples of digital identity and big data at work. Thierry Prignaud said digital identity has supported African states in establishing national digital identity which is important for payment, banking and customer data management, especially for a multi-service operator.
Nicolas De Cordes and Stefania Rubrichi demonstrated the use of big data in achieving sustainable development goals. They also showed how mobile data can be used for electrification planning, leveraging population statistics for mobility and transport; and for providing new proxies of poverty index to national statistics offices.
Chief Executive Officer of Orange Sierra Leone, Madam Ndiaye, also spoke about efforts Orange Sierra Leone is making in supporting the development of an innovation ecosystem in the West African nation.
I personally believe that President Bio’s philosophy is to “ALWAYS SHOOT FOR THE MOON AND EVEN IF HE MISSED HE WILL BE AMONGST THE STARS.” Rwanda is an example, even though Africa is considered as the poorest continent in the world where hunger, disease, poverty and wars are prevalent. That doesn’t stop President Paul Kagame do take a Leap of Faith and his country is now the shining star of black Africa.
Former President Obama described his mission to become the 44th and FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT of the USA as “THE AUDACITY OF HOPE” which was based on thoughts of reclaiming the American Dream and he proved all his naysayers wrong. May the Almighty continue to bless President Bio with Wisdom and Understanding.
You are right, Mr. Conteh. But the problem is, will the majority of Sierra Leoneans read these our critical comments in the Sierra Leone Telegraph or on the internet. We are only a very small minority of “educated” people.
Caterpillars, again anxious to become butterflies – first things first! Mr President, get your priorities in order.There are children going to school under trees and makeshift bamboo classrooms in some of our villages and towns; show some empathy, save them from the wrath of the scorching sun and merciless pelting of heavy downpours of rain – build them some safe, modern and hygienic schools.
What does the ordinary Sierra Leonean know about the benefits of using big data to achieve development goals? (lol) The majority of our people are uneducated, so why not invest on technical and vocational skills training at the grassroots levels, and start building a new, progressive society from the bottom towards the top. Quit the wild goose chase for investors and stop wasting money on technology our nation doesn’t need right now…Rising Sun Will Rise Again.