Sierra Leone Telegraph: 5 July 2021:
Last Wednesday, 30th June 2021, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai launched the Directorate of Science, Technology & Innovation;s Ecosystem Mapping Report which focuses on strengthening and growing entrepreneurial activity in Sierra Leone.
The Report provides data for policy makers to improve service delivery; providing opportunities for local entrepreneurs and investors to grow their business, and also provides resources for promoting the development of collaborative networks.
Rokya Ye Dieng, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, in her statement, expressed her delight at the launch of the report, noting that the UNDP together with partners have been working tirelessly to ensure the mapping exercise was done.
She said the ecosystem mapping would provide a holistic understanding of a digital and entrepreneurial environment in the country, identify gaps and provide the required policy direction for actions that would guide future planning in the digital agenda.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDA), Sharka Samuel Sannoh, said the data acquired would inform their program design and intervention. He said they would utilize the data to further understand the key challenges facing Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and solutions they could proffer.
Team Leader for INVEST SALONE, Chukwu-Emeka Chikezie said that they would organize a roundtable to present the ecosystem map to investors and present promising and invest-ready firms to potential investors, connecting the firms and investors to the pipelines.
In his keynote address, Minister of Planning, Dr. Kai-Kai said there is a clear need for national entrepreneurship and digital tool with credible data that could enable government, development partners of Sierra Leone to engage in planning.
He said the mapping is needed for monitoring and evaluation and also to inform coordination of the county’s economic development, which would guide and assist in preventing duplication of efforts.
Dr. Kai-Kai noted that the outcome of the Ecosystem mapping presented the country with numerous opportunities in pursuit of a sustainable development for Sierra Leone, informed by credible data and driven by technology and innovation.