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DSTI & UNICEF hold the first official meeting of the Sierra Leone Digital Public Goods Steering Committee.

The Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation (DSTI), in partnership with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), officially held the first meeting of the Digital Public Goods Sierra Leone technical working group on Friday, 3rd February, 2023.

(DSTI’s Director & Chief Operating Officer,  Ms. Michala Mackay making the opening statement)

The gathering’s inaugural session, which included top specialists in the digital field from across the professional spectrum, was widely attended. Government Ministers, development partners, civil society activists, business executives, non-governmental organisation representatives, journalists, and many more made up the audience.

Digital public goods are public goods in the form of open-source software, data sets, AI models, or digital content. These tools contribute to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable development goals (SDGs), and must meet a range of international standards found here.

As the proud home of Africa’s first representative on the Digital Public Goods Alliance Governance Board, Sierra Leone has established itself as a steadfast supporter of incorporating open-source technology into many development areas, including health, agriculture, and disaster response. This has also given some colleges the chance to adjust their curricula to meet the rising demand for fundamental digital skills.

(Presidential Adviser, Dr. Emmanuel Gaima, Delivering The Keynote Address On Behalf Of The Chief Minister)

UNICEF’s’s Country Representative, Dr. Suleiman Braimoh, believes that “the launch of this DPG Initiative comes as a welcomed sequel to DPG Hackathon which brought together young people from different backgrounds to collaborate and build sustainable digital solutions to problems in their communities.

The launch of this initiative promises to make open-source software and tools accessible to emerging technocrats and tech enthusiasts whilst addressing the existing challenge of skills gaps for young people within the workforce by providing more digital learning opportunities.”

(Unicef’s Country Representative, Dr. Suleiman Braimoh Making A Statement)

“The roll-out of this initiative is set to optimise and redefine existing notions about DPGs meaningfully. Furthermore, the initiative aligns with the broader objective of advancing President Julius Maada Bio’s Human Capital Development Agenda for the people of Sierra Leone” – Dr. Francis Kaikai, Minister of Planning & Economic Development.

(Dr. Francis Kaikai, Minister of Planning & Economic Development, making a statement)

Delivering his closing remarks, DSTI Consultant, Kahil Ali, emphasised the great deal of promise he sees in this initiative.

( DSTI Consultant, Kahil Ali, Delivering His Closing Remarks)

`We can only meet the demands of the 21st century workforce if we acquire the capacity and skills required locally. DPG’s have the potential to provide a wide range of benefits and even more opportunities to our young people. In addition to driving the job market through potential job creation, the money saved by using DPG’s can be used to benefit many of the citizens across Sierra Leone.’ – DSTI Consultant, Kahil Ali.

Want to know more about the DPGs or how to get involved?  Learn More Here 

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