Giga Technology Centre to Train First Cadre of Indigenous Technologists

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

The Minister of Communication, Technology and Innovation, Salima Mornoma Bah has revealed, during SD Digital Day, a sideline event at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 17, 2023 that in a groundbreaking move aimed at bolstering internet connectivity in schools, they will dispatch an inaugural cadre of technologists for training and skill development at the Giga Technology Center in Barcelona, Spain.

Giga, a joint initiative spearheaded by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), is dedicated to extending internet access to every educational institution worldwide.

In Sierra Leone, this visionary initiative is being implemented by The Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation (DSTI). The Giga Technology Center, a testament to the collaborative efforts of the Governments of Spain, Catalonia, and Barcelona, stands as the epicenter of Giga’s open-source technological endeavors, aimed at providing innovative connectivity solutions to Governments globally.

In early 2024, Sierra Leone is set to dispatch a team of five young and exceptionally talented developers to collaborate closely with Giga’s technology experts at the Giga Technology Center. These pioneers, alongside technologists from other Giga partner nations, will actively participate in the co-development of cutting-edge products in the fields of mapping, data science, and blockchain-based accounting platforms.

Minister Salima Monorma Bah expressed her enthusiasm about this transformative partnership: “Sending our young developers to the Giga Technology Center presents a golden opportunity for them to acquire invaluable skills and co-create technology solutions tailored to our specific needs and contextual realities, ultimately benefitting our nation.”

She further elaborated on the progress Sierra Leone has made in its partnership with Giga: “Through our collaboration with Giga, we have successfully mapped every school in the country, a crucial step towards formulating a comprehensive plan for school connectivity. Over the past year, we have also achieved the successful connection of 42 schools through this initiative, leading to the unlocking of US$5 million in support from the Islamic Development Bank for our connectivity projects. This new collaboration with Giga in Barcelona signifies a significant milestone and brings us closer to our ambition of connecting every school and every student in Sierra Leone to the Internet.”

Sierra Leone’s commitment to leveraging the expertise and resources available at the Giga Technology Center represents a promising stride toward closing the digital divide and ensuring equitable access to quality education for its young population. As the nation sends its technologists to collaborate on pioneering solutions the world watches with anticipation, hopeful for a brighter digital future for Sierra Leonean students.


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