The Covid-19 pandemic is an important reminder of the long-term importance of investing in and building human capital - health, knowledge, capabilities, skills and resilience - that are critical to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential. This is especially true in Africa, which is home to the world's youngest population and also to some of the toughest human capital challenges.
Sierra Leone, like many African countries, has a very young population coming of age during the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The country is banking on the most advanced technology to advance its development, prioritising the domains of food security (Sustainable Development Goal 2), education (Sustainable Development Goal 4), and health (Sustainable Development Goal 3).
Spearheading this effort is MIT-trained Dr David Sengeh, Sierra Leone's first-ever Chief Innovation Officer and Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education. David wants to place innovation at the heart of government, and he believes that Sierra Leone's current lack of traditional infrastructure and systems could be an advantage, allowing the country to make changes more quickly.
Join us at this event as Dr David Sengeh shares his perspectives on how development should be based on local needs and supported by technology, and his vision on harnessing science and technology to benefit everyone.
Date: 27th October 2020, Tuesday
Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm (Singapore Time/ UTC +8)
5:00pm - 5:03pm: Opening Remarks by Tuan Nguyen, Deputy Director - Community, SGInnovate
5:03pm - 5:20pm: Opening Speech by Dr David Sengeh, Chief Innovation Officer and Minister Of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Sierra Leone
5:20pm - 6:00pm: Fireside Chat and Q&A
- Dr David Sengeh, Chief Innovation Officer and Minister Of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Sierra Leone
- Moderated by: Janine Civitate, Programme Advisorand Deputy Director (a.i), UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development
DrDavid Sengeh, Chief Innovation Officer and Minister Of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Sierra Leone
Dr David Moinina Sengeh is the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and the Chief Innovation Officer for the Government of Sierra Leone. He provides strategic and policy leadership for both the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) and the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI).
At the time of his appointment by H.E. President Julius Maada Bio in May 2018, Dr Sengeh was a Manager at IBM Research Africa (in Kenya and South Africa), leading a healthcare team that designed and implemented AI-enabled systems for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of disease.
Born and raised in Sierra Leone, he completed his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he developed award-winning inventions and technology for human augmentation designing comfortable prosthetic interfaces. Dr Sengeh received his bachelor's degree at Harvard University in Engineering Sciences in 2010, where his research focused on aerosolised vaccines for tuberculosis.
David is also on Forbes 30 Under 30 in Technology (2013), a Senior TED Fellow, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, on the Wired Smart List 2013, winner of the Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize, an Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa Fellow and most recently, a WEF Young Global Leader. He is credited for seeding the development of the innovation ecosystem in Sierra Leone through Global Minimum and the Innovate Salone program, which he co-founded in 2007, and which has supported the innovation and entrepreneurial journeys of thousands of Sierra Leoneans.
He holds several patents and has published academic articles across fields of education, healthcare and augmentation, and artificial intelligence. David has spoken to audiences globally on topics related to digital governance, education, youth innovation, prosthetics design, fourth industrial revolution and more. He is an afrobeats rapper, designs clothing and regularly plays football.
Janine Civitate, Programme Advisor and Deputy Director (a.i), UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development
Janine is the Deputy Director (ad interim) of the United Nations Development Programme's Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development based in Singapore. At the Global Centre, she manages all programmatic and operational aspects of the Centre across its thematic focus areas of Smart Cities and Digitalisation, Sustainable and Digital Agriculture, and Sustainable Finance.
Janine has been with UNDP for over 7 years and prior to joining the Centre in Singapore, she was working in New York at UNDP HQ as part of the Global Policy Network where her role focused on setting up processes and an enabling environment for better flow and capture of knowledge, innovations, good practices, solutions and lessons learned from country, regional and global experience in order to address complex problems.
Prior to joining UNDP, Janine worked in the private sector at international companies and startups in Spain, U.S, Argentina and Uruguay. She has a Masters degree in International Economics from the University of Barcelona and a double Bachelors in Anthropology and Sociology from the University of San Diego.