In a significant step towards connecting every school to the Internet, Sierra Leone has announced that it will send its first batch of technologists for training and development at the Giga Technology Center in Barcelona, Spain.
The announcement was made during SDG Digital Day, a side event at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Giga is a joint initiative by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) connecting every school in the world to the Internet. It has been implemented in Sierra Leone by The Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI). The Giga Technology Center, made possible through the generous contributions of the governments of Spain, Catalonia, and Barcelona, serves as the hub of Giga’s open-source technology products aimed at providing connectivity solutions to governments.
Sierra Leone will send five young and talented developers to work closely with Giga’s technology team at the Giga Technology Center in early 2024. Along with technologists from other Giga partner countries, this pioneer batch will actively participate in co-developing products related to mapping, data science, and blockchain-based accounting platforms.
Ms. Salima Monorma Bah, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Communication, Technology, and Innovation, expressed her enthusiasm: “Sending our young developers to the Giga Technology Center presents a golden opportunity for them to acquire invaluable skills and co-create technology solutions shaped by our specific needs and context that will serve our nation.”
“Through our partnership with Giga, we have successfully mapped every school in the country, crucial towards creating a comprehensive plan for school connectivity. Over the last year we have also successfully connected 42 schools through this initiative, which led to us unlocking US$5 million from the Islamic Development Bank to support our connectivity projects. This new collaboration with Giga in Barcelona marks a significant milestone and brings us closer to our ambition of connecting every school and every student in Sierra Leone to the Internet.”
The press release was originally published by the Ministry of Communication, Technology, and Innovation of Sierra Leone.
Photo credit: ITU/D.Woldu.