SORA Technology has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) and Njala University, by which drones and accumulated knowledge of SORA Technology contribute to improved health outcomes and human capital development in Sierra Leone.
The MOU, titled “ESTABLISHMENT OF MEDICAL DRONE INFRASTRUCTURE IN SIERRA LEONE”, is based on common views about the huge potential of drones both for solving the bottlenecks of medical supplies in Sierra Leone, and contributing to national digitalization strategies and human capital development. The parties have already been preparing a pilot of their system of drone delivery in Sierra Leone for providing appropriate service of medical supplies in rural areas.
The fixed-wing drone by SORA Technology, is designed not only for delivering medical supplies at long range, but also for aerial monitoring and data collection. The agreement will help contribute to improving drone and digital capabilities of Sierra Leone.
Moreover, SORA Technology is also collaborating with HealthGrid Sierra Leone, an initiative to provide access to electricity, internet connectivity, and other essential services to off-grid health facilities in Sierra Leone. This initiative is organized by USAID Global Development Alliance (GDA) and managed by a multi-sector consortium, including RESOLVE, Orange Sierra Leone, and bechtel.org, World Vision, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health and Sanitization. Synergies with these partners will help SORA Technology realize sustainable drone operations in rural Sierra Leone, and contribute to “Digitization for All” and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) of Sierra Leone.
“We are delighted to be working with DSTI and Njala University to commit not only for medical drone delivery but also for the entire support of the national digital development. This partnership is an important step for us to kick off our mission in Africa. Our drones achieve sustainable support for improving access to medical supplies while spurring digital innovations and transformations in various sectors of Sierra Leone.” (Masaki Umeda, Africa Business Lead, SORA Technology)
“In order to exploit emerging technologies to improve health outcomes, DSTI works with multiple partners to create the enabling environment to seed and test these innovations and develop human capital to effectively engage with these technologies in a Sierra Leone centric way. This partnership will pave the way to train Sierra Leonean drone pilots and data scientists and test and seed the integration of drones into the existing medical supply chain.” (David Manley, Project Coordinator, DSTI)
“Njala University is delighted to partner with SORA Technology and DSTI in the area of drone technology and Data Science to contribute to the healthcare systems and human capital development in Sierra Leone. We are inspired by the amazing collaborative spirit to overcome the significant challenges of deploying drones safely and at scale. It’s incredibly important to build a self-sustaining ecosystem of experts that can support the deployment of drones. It is expected that the partnership will create a national Drone and Data Academy, which will build local capacity, as well as provide young people with the skills to analyse aerial imagery, build and operate drones.” (Thomas Songu, Director of Information & Communication Technology, Njala University)
About the Sierra Leone National Drone Corridor
Sierra Leone’s drone corridor is one of six supported by UNICEF in the world. Launched in November 2019 by DSTI, UNICEF, Njala University, Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority.
As a sandbox where industry, universities, and individuals are able to test the use of drones for imagery, connectivity, and transport. It has so far provided opportunities for learning and exploration of the use of drones in Sierra Leone and continues to work on creating research opportunities for students and fellows.
About Njala University
Njala University (or simply Njala, as it is fondly called), is a rural comprehensive public research university in Sierra Leone, is committed to providing the highest standards of excellence in higher education in Sierra Leone and beyond, fostering intellectual and personal development, and stimulating meaningful research and service to humankind.
Njala University has had a rich history since its establishment in 1964 as a university college based on the model of the American Land Grant University. Since then, it has metamorphosed into one of the leading universities in the country, preparing undergraduate and postgraduate students for careers in a wide variety of specializations including Education, Agricultural Research and Extension, Agricultural Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Community Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Law, Natural Resources Management and in Information Technology, among others. Njala University is a multi-disciplinary university with three campuses – the Njala campus in the Moyamba District, the Bo campus in the Bo District and the newly established Bonthe campus in the Bonthe District. We also operate a location in Freetown.
About SORA Technology
SORA Technology is a Japanese company that utilizes drones and air mobility to promote social transformation after the pandemic of COVID-19.
With the purpose of the realization of Universal Health Coverage and Digital Transformation in Africa and Asia, we build and operate drone-based infrastructure, including their flight management systems. We contribute to solving the problems of inaccessibility and inefficiencies by developing completely new infrastructure centred on drones not only for safe, reliable, and timely transportation of goods but also for the effective management of digital information.
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