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Using Technology to streamline decision making in Sierra Leone

19 May 2023 at 21:52 | 1526 views

Commentary

By Geneba Koroma, USA

Every government should have technology at its helm of operations. Most times, businesses will talk about the bottom line, result driven, competitive edge etc. In all of these, technology plays an immense role. Whatever way we look at the internal operations of governments, it is a form of business either providing goods and services or catering for the needs of it’s citizens. As such, we measure/assess the bottom-line, etc.

At the moment, one wants to focus on streamlining decision making. Apart from statistical analysis …. What else can governments use in decision making?
The answer is technology, that captures data, analyzes data, and produces results that assist in streamlining decision making.

Sierra Leone strives to look at ways to improve on service delivery and operational focus. Evidently the Ministry of Basic and Secondary School Education has utilized technology in the simplest of ways to communicate with their customers ( parents and students). What has been missing or not emphasized enough is how technology has harnessed the work of other Ministries within the country.

The United Nations talks about Sustainable Development Goals ( SDG). There are 17 SDGs created in 2015, with the hope of reaching them by 2030. Now why would I want to mention the UN SDGs? Sierra Leone is part of the UN and has made significant progress within the UN system. Sierra Leone desires to be voted for the UN Security Council, the First Lady, Mrs Fatima Maada Bio advocating for November 18th as World Day Aimed at Ending Child Sexual Exploitation and Violence, Bringing Hope and Healing to Survivors, which the world now celebrates. In September 2022, President Julius Maada Bio Co-Chaired 2022 Transforming Education Summit, at the UN in New York.

If Sierra Leone and other nations are to meet the 17 SDGs by 2030, decisions must be driven by technology.

The world is now seeing Artificial Intelligence (AI), in hospitals, infrastructural development, laboratories, to name a few places.

Now how can Sierra Leone continue to use technology to streamline decision making with a few areas for the sake of brevity.

1. Look at the outdated policies in all the Ministries in terms of research, innovation and technology and modify them based on trends in modern technology

2. In the area of Agriculture, Marine Resources, Mining, Aerial images from drones, could be provided in real time. This will improve on data analysis, collections and informed decisions. It is a known fact that drone technologies are being used, regular usages are recommended.

3. Hospitals records sharing in rural and urban areas: Mobile forms could be used with applications that have been tested and used by other countries in Africa. Apart from people sharing records, it could also be used for storing health records accessible to medical doctors.

4. E-commerce - Sierra Leoneans should be able to buy and sell online, with stores online databases set up in Sierra Leone.

The Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation, has a list of projects they are working on; it is therefore necessary to find out as to how much has been achieved.

Nonetheless a Ministry of Innovation and Technology could work faster towards sustainable development goals, with a more focused approach and budget allocation.

The world has become digitized and with the advent of Artificial Intelligence. Sierra Leone will not be far behind in utilizing AI in state of the art hospitals and universities, when constructions are completed.

Stay with me on innovative ways to move Sierra Leone in other commentaries

Geneba BM Koroma is a former IT Instructor in the USA

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