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Youth Minister calls for more attention to innovation

-as Sierra Leone Robotic team pays visit

July 26, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

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Youth Affairs Minister, Bai Mahmoud Bangura with Sierra Leone Robotics team

Minister of Youth Affairs yesterday spoke about the need for more attention to ensuring promotion and improvement of innovation in Sierra Leone.

Bai Mahmoud Bangura was speaking at his office during a courtesy visit by a five-man team, who represented the country at the just-concluded Global Robotics Challenge hosted in Washington DC, USA and organised by First Global.

Sierra Leone robotics team, headed by  head of Innovate Salone; Mahmoud Javombo, was ranked 37th out of the 167 countries that participated.

The five-member team comprising youngsters; defeated teams from highly-industrialized nations, including United Kingdom, Norway, Australia, Japan and United States of America.

The minister welcomed and congratulated the team for making the nation proud, but encouraged them not to relent or stop what they have been doing but believe in themselves to reach higher height.

“We are proud of you. We are very happy that you never let us down. The performance by Sierra Leone and other African countries demonstrate the zest black people have for science and technology. If we are able to defeat USA and UK, then I think we should be proud,” he said.

While pledging government support to promote and champion innovation in the country, Mr. Bangura urged young people to see it as their responsibility to use science and technology to ensure a turnaround.

Team Leader, Mahmoud Javombo, commended the minister for his tremendous support for them to participate in the competition, adding that the support received from the Sierra Leonean community in America motivated them to do well.

He described the team’s performance as a start of many things to happen, saying that the team can use the robots given to them for other ideas.

“Robotic is a huge deal in the United States. The competition will be hosted in Mexico next year. We are thinking about making the robots given to us useful,” he said and called for more support from the government and other partners.

He disclosed that the organizers spent about 25,000 to 30,000 United States Dollars on each team that participated in the competition.

Other members of the team spoke about their experience during the competition and the support received from the minister and Sierra Leoneans in America.

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