Sierra Leone’s Integrated GIS portal wins $773,000 Gates Foundation grant

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 November 2019:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $773,476 grant to Sierra Leone’s Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI), to continue the development of a national Integrated GIS Portal that will collect and model data to inform real-time government and development partners’ decision making.

The grant will also seek to strengthen the local ecosystem around human capacity development. The grant for expanding the GIS Portal is in addition to the support already provided by the Foundation to Sierra Leone’s Innovation in Government Human Capacity Development Incubator, launched by President Julius Maada Bio in December 2018 at GoalKeepers South Africa.

“This generous support provided by the Bill & Melinda Foundation will enable DSTI and its collaborators to use low-cost technology solutions like SMS, USSD, interactive voice response, and mobile Apps to provide citizens with real-time information for timely access and receipt of services. It will help optimize service delivery, specifically in the provision of maternal healthcare services,” said Dr. Moinina David Sengeh, Sierra Leone’s Chief Innovation Officer.

“We will further be able to collect and analyze data that will be provided to government service providers to optimize and improve their services, both for supply chain and resource allocation,” Sengeh said.

The Integrated Geographic Information System (iGIS) Portal 1.0 ( is a cross-sectoral spatial data infrastructure and geo-database. The portal links diverse geographic information datasets from the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) and its partners.

It supports the government in implementing policies and interventions towards the National Development Plan and the Sustainable Development Goals.

President Bio has prioritized Human Capital Development as a central focus for Sierra Leone in achieving the SDG Goals 2, 3, 4 – Food Security, Healthcare, and Quality Education.

The iGIS portal, designed and implemented by DSTI in collaboration with Statistics Sierra Leone, brings together the data to support this national and Presidential vision.

“The Foundation’s support will serve as the seed funding for the scaling of the Integrated GIS Portal and will support the collection of critical data and develop analysis to promote health, agriculture, environmental, and education outcomes,” said Glenna Wilson, Data Engineer, and GIS Portal Project Lead.

“By the project’s completion, the government will have the evidence to efficiently target HCD investment resources towards the most impactful interventions and to effectively coordinate investments by government, development partners, NGOs, and the private sector.”

In August 2018, Dr. Sengeh met with Bill Gates as they discussed issues on the intersections of technology and global health service delivery in the lead up to the second edition of Goalkeepers. A month later, President Bio joined the two innovators at Goalkeepers in New York, where he shared his bold vision to set Sierra Leone in the right direction with a focus on human capital development.

At the launch of the National Innovation and Digital Strategy (NIDS) in Freetown two weeks ago, President Bio thanked the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their continued support of technology for development in Sierra Leone.


  1. A giant step in the right direction. In the strike to achieve success, there will always be backward elements especially from the Clueless APC who knows only the language of corruption and destruction. But God will guide the ones that mean well for Sierra Leone. May God protect President Bio and Dr Moinina Sengeh as they stake their necks for the advancement of Sierra Leone. A big THANK YOU to them

  2. Kudos HE Bio and Dr. M. Sengeh, you are always trying to match up Sierra Leone to be in line with other Developed countries. People Like Mohamed Mansaray and his brothers will never share this type of Information. All they can share is those against the state and those that contains abusive words used on senior citizens.

  3. This is a nightmare scenario for the APC party and their supporters for President Maada Bio to be moving our country forward in this faster pace. I still remember during the 2018 election campaign when then presidential candidate Maada Bio was called all sorts of names including lying about the Free quality education which was a no go area for the APC party leadership, who were bent on keeping our youths as illiterates just to use them as puppets of destruction during election campaign. Now President Bio has unleashed the potential of the Youths by building their self esteem so much that the richest man in the world is now paying attention to one of the poorest countries in the world.

    President Bio has also exposed the strength of our youths by promoting them to top positions instead of treating them as “ME BORBOH”. Most of them are in their 30’s so they are vibrant and they now serve as role models for the youthful population in our country. I’m still waiting for comments from some APC supporters who are suffering from PUT DOWN SYNDROME (PDS) to send a similar negative message to Mr. Bill Gates just like the one they are trying to send to the USA that we do not deserve to qualify for any good recognition even though all Sierra Leoneans regardless of party, tribes or regions will benefit from the rewards (up to $ 600 million) which will help develop our Water and Electricity infrastructure.

    In their little minds (APC), they believe that the SLPP government has hit the jackpot and they will copy from their ideology of stealing and distributing the money amongst themselves. But with our Vice President now in the USA to convince the Board Members of the MCC, I am asking all patriotic Sierra Leonean to pray for success; and if they don’t have anything positive to say about our country, I ask that they hold their peace until we are rewarded for all the time and efforts that have been invested in the fight against corruption for the past 18 months instead of trying to “DUMP SAND IN OUR GARI”.

  4. Cheers president Julius Maada Bio and Dr. Moinina Sengeh and thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. When round pegs are put in round holes, good results are bound to surface.

    Bio and Sengeh have put Sierra Leone on the forefront of technological progress in Africa. Indeed, the Athens of West Africa shall rise again. My only concern is that we will soon hear from APC media outlets that the money has been deposited into Sengeh’s account at ECOBANK.

    The demoralized sun of Ernest Koroma and others has set and will never rise again.

  5. I would have preferred that Bill and Melinda Gates foundation help ERADICATE MALARIA in Sierra Leone. However, I thank them for their gesture and hope it will help deliver the results needed. Thank you very much Bill and Melinda. GOD BLESS YOU.

  6. This is great! Compliments to the Chief Innovations Officer. I hope all stakeholders will get behind this initiative

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