Dr. Moinina David Sengeh has announced that Sierra Leone will launch a National Innovation and Digital Strategy (NIDS) at Bintumani Conference Centre at Aberdeen on Thursday, 31 October 2019.
The Chief Innovation Officer shared this news with stakeholders from various Ministries Department and Agencies, private sector partners, Academic Institutions, NGOs, and donor partners who met to review and make contributions to the NIDS document at State House yesterday.
When the National Innovation and Digital Strategy is launched next week, it will provide the framework, plan, and policy recommendations for the adoption of digital technology for national development. NIDS was developed over the past 18 months by the citizens and the Government of Sierra Leone in collaboration with relevant policy, technology, and research institutions in the public and private sectors.
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Njala University Joseph Sherman Kamara, said the NIDS would uplift Sierra Leone’s development and help institutions like Njala tap into the benefits of digitization for education.
“For our institution, the strategy means that we now have a national framework document that guides our work to prepare students for the emerging job market,” said Dr. Kamara.
Also present at the meeting were representatives from private financial institutions and telecommunications providers. The General Secretary at Orange Sierra Leone, Haffie Haffner, said the NIDS aligns with the telecommunications industry’s drive to improve connectivity.
“We launched the digital revolution because we believed right back then that digitization is the way forward to the development of the country,” said Ms. Haffner.
DSTI held the meeting to gain from the knowledge and experience of key partners in the innovation technology ecosystem. The success of NIDS depends mainly on collaboration and inclusiveness. In preparation for the development of NIDS, DSTI and several GoSL leaders traveled to Estonia to learn from the Estonia Governance Academy; DSTI staff went to all 16 districts in Sierra Leone with the National Commission for Children engaging with children on topics of robotics and innovation; and worked with international partners in developing leading-edge policies like Child Rights and AI Ethics with UNICEF.
“We want everyone here to take ownership of NIDS, it is only then that we can use technology to deliver on Sierra Leone’s national development plan,” said Dr. Sengeh.