NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 26: Bill Gates, David Moinina Sengeh and the President of Sierra Leone shake hands onstage during the Goalkeepers 2018 Event, at Jazz at Lincoln Center on September 26, 2018 in New York City.

President Bio launched an Innovation in Government Incubator in Sierra Leone over the weekend while in South Africa .

President Maada Bio was at the Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg with other world leaders committed to the Sustainable Development Goals. It was there that the nation’s top Goalkeeper reiterated his commitment to human development and innovation.

“We have to first rely on ourselves,” said President Bio to a crowd of sixty thousand Global Citizens at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

“By investing our African resources in free, quality teaching and learning, we are investing in our human capital and empowering our youth to be the generation that will end poverty in our time.”

President Bio also announced that his government had created an Innovation in Government Incubator within the Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation. This new initiative was lauded and welcomed by Mr. Mark Suzman, President, Global Policy and Advocacy at the Gates Foundation, on the sidelines of the Goalkeepers Africa event.

Goalkeepers is a multiyear campaign organized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation dedicated to accelerating progress towards the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals). The event highlighted the stunning progress in reducing extreme poverty since 1990 and showcased what is possible if the world invests in the health and education of its growing youth populations. PAID COMMERCIAL IMAGE FOR PUBLICITY PURPOSES, FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE

“We are pleased to support the launch of this project, as it is a clear commitment from the government of Sierra Leone to invest in human capital,” said Mr. Suzman.

“In prioritizing innovation and human capital, Sierra Leone is in a better position to kick-start its development. This approach can also provide a blueprint for other fast-growing developing countries trying to make the most of their youth boom”.

Sierra Leone’s Innovation in Government Incubator (IGI) will be a hub for local start-ups and private, public, and academic organizations to collaborate on projects that will help citizens access government services and information more efficiently.  It will also provide an opportunity for young people to participate, innovate, and solve challenges in their local communities.

“At the Innovation in Government Incubator, partners will share data, build models, develop hypotheses, and test pilot projects to inform government investments in human capital,” said Dr. Sengeh, Chief Innovation Officer, Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation.

The ultimate goal of the IGI is to create a space for local talent across all sectors to develop solutions to enhance government service delivery. Technology will give Sierra Leone the edge it needs to accomplish its Sustainable Development Goals.