Freetown Innovation Week

Day 2-FIW 2024


Freetown Innovation Week 2024 Day 2 continued to flourish with an array of insightful discussions and engaging activities that captivated the audience’s attention. Ms. Renner, the esteemed event host, radiated warmth as she extended a heartfelt welcome to all attendees on this bustling second day of FIW. Commencing the day’s proceedings, she delivered a comprehensive recap of the stimulating events that unfolded during the inaugural day, setting the stage for what promised to be an even more enlightening experience.

Transitioning seamlessly from the opening address, Ms. Renner then introduced the notable CEO of InnovationSL, Mr. Francis Steven George, whose presence brought an air of anticipation to the room. Mr. George, in his eloquent style, expressed profound appreciation for the vibrant presentations that had graced the stage on the previous day. He illuminated how the positive feedback received from esteemed diplomats had bolstered the event’s significance, urging a deeper level of engagement from the attendees through interactive questions, astute suggestions, and thoughtful comments. Emphasizing the paramount theme of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the day, Mr. George underscored the surging relevance and transformative impact of this cutting-edge technology on our contemporary world.

As the morning session unfolded, Ms Renner gracefully acknowledged and honoured the valuable contributions of the event sponsors, extending heartfelt gratitude to entities such as AGL, Orange, Metro, and other esteemed partners whose unwavering support had been instrumental in fueling the success of FIW. She then introduced the indomitable Moderator, the esteemed Madam Pricilla Okechukwa, CEO Pixaweb Technologies Ltd, Nigeria, alongside a panel of distinguished experts – Mr Kahil Ali, the technical adviser of the minister of communications innovation and technology, Mr. Bernard Sal William, CEO of Big Bang World Tech Company and Mr. Alpha Omar Leigh, lecturer Limkokwing University of technology-whose collective prowess promised to enrich the ensuing dialogue on Artificial Intelligence. 

Under the adept guidance of Madam Pricilla, the ensuing dialogue delved deep into the myriad facets of AI, shedding light on its multifaceted role in revolutionizing sectors as diverse as business, education, agriculture, climate change, and transportation.

The discussion underscored how AI could be harnessed as a potent tool to bolster learning opportunities, particularly in the educational landscape of Sierra Leone. Furthermore, the potential of AI applications in agriculture emerged as a focal point, with a compelling narrative emerging on leveraging predictive analytics to revolutionize farming practices, thereby propelling economic growth in the region.

Expanding the discourse further, one of the panellists unveiled a groundbreaking AI tool tailored for the financial sector, shedding light on its transformative impact on loan decisions within banking institutions. The narrative then seamlessly transitioned to the innovative fusion of drones and AI technology to mitigate environmental risks, with a poignant focus on using sensor-embedded drones to preempt landslides – a revolutionary application of AI in ensuring environmental safety. 

Harnessing the transformative power of AI in the realm of transportation emerged as yet another theme imbibing the dialogue,

 emphasizing the imperative of leveraging reliable data  and fostering collaborative research efforts to foster innovation. The discourse then transcended to the realm of skill development in the era of AI, spotlighting how individuals adept in AI literacy can carve a niche for themselves in a dynamic job market driven by technological advancements.

Moreover, the confluence of AI and healthcare emerged as a poignant narrative, underscoring the promise of AI in diagnosing diseases while shedding light on the inherent challenge of empathy in AI systems. The audience was roused to embrace a spirit of continuous learning and holistic integration of AI to elevate their quality of life, symbolizing a broader commitment to harnessing technology for societal good.

Following the riveting panel discussion, a brief intermission ensued, setting the stage for the next segment of the day’s proceedings. Ms. Renner graced the stage once more, extending a warm welcome to Mr. Francis and the distinguished panel of judges, who held the fate of aspiring contestants in their discerning hands. 

Mr Francis, in his address, extolled the virtues of youth engagement in the workforce, urging contestants to exhibit a profound understanding of the problems they seek to address and a fervent passion for their proposed solutions. Emphasizing the enrichment garnered from participation over material rewards, Mr Francis unveiled the coveted cash prizes awaiting the top three winners, symbolizing a gateway to sustained growth and success in the thriving ecosystem of innovation.

The narrative then pivoted to the eminent judging panel comprising luminaries such as Madam Fatima Sesay, CEO of Unimax Ltd, Mr Lyndon Baines Johnson, An environmental expert and Mr. Papa N’jai, Senior lecturer, Milton Margai Technical University each lending their unique expertise to the momentous occasion. As the stakes heightened and anticipation mounted, the spotlight shone on the culmination of the pitching competition, amplifying the gravity of each presentation and the transformative potential ingrained within.
The first pitcher, Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Danquah from GrowTech, presented a startup idea focused on connecting African agriculture with valuable data. The judges provided feedback on the need for clearer communication.

The second pitcher, Joseph Edwin from Smart and Hydroponics, proposed a soilless farming solution addressing price control and food security. The judges highlighted the importance of refining the business model.

The final pitcher, Mr. Martin Dainbequee from Eco-friendly Rechargeable and Local Animal Feed Processing Company pitched their commitment to offering cost-effective and high-performing rechargeable incubators, locally sourced animal feed, crossbreed chicken, and organic fertilizer to support vegetable farmers nationwide.

In a pivotal juncture, the spotlight turned to the unveiling of the winning contenders -Joseph Gambai of Smart Hydroponics and Martin Darbanquee Eco-friendly Rechargeable and Local Animal Feed Processing Company rose triumphant, securing a coveted spot in the grand finale. With bated breath and a palpable sense of anticipation, the audience braced for the unfolding of events that promised to shape the future trajectory of innovation and entrepreneurial excellence in Sierra Leone.

A crescendo of excitement enveloped the gathering as Ms. Renner, with profound gratitude and unwavering enthusiasm, bid farewell to the judges and attendees, priming the stage for the forthcoming days’ immersive experiences and transformative revelations. The promise of innovation, collaboration, and pioneering solutions hung palpably in the air, casting a luminous aura of optimism and possibility over the venerable institution of Freetown Innovation Week.

As the day drew to a close, the reverberations of insight, enlightenment, and camaraderie lingered on, painting a vivid tapestry of collective endeavour and boundless innovation that would continue to resonate far beyond the confines of the event hall, signalling a new dawn of possibility and progress in the illustrious domain of technological innovation.