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Sierra Leone Aims to Become Africa’s Tech Hub

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Sierra Leone, a small tropical nation on Africa’s west coast, is aiming for big tech ambitions under President Julius Maada Bio’s leadership. With aspirations to become “the Estonia of Africa,” the country is backed by strong political will and government investment to supply tech talent across the continent.

Minister of Communication, Technology, and Innovation, Salima Bah, highlighted Sierra Leone’s advantageous size, allowing for swift action and adaptation to changing times. Since 2018, President Bio has established the Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation (DSTI) and the Ministry of Communication, Technology, and Innovation to drive tech initiatives.

Sierra Leone plans to host a National Tech and Innovation Summit to attract investments and partnerships for its startup ecosystem, still in its early stages. The country will also build a tech and innovation city to train youths in tech skills, aiming to create 500,000 jobs by 2028.

Learning from regional counterparts, Sierra Leone seeks cross-border collaboration, evident in Minister Bah’s visit to Nigeria. The country’s strategy involves leveraging political will and government investment while emphasising collaboration over competition.

Sierra Leone’s bold approach focused on learning from others and adapting to local contexts, signals promising growth potential for Africa’s tech ecosystem. The country plans to convene an African ministerial roundtable to discuss collective benefits from AI and open-source software.

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