Note that the theme for this year’s forum ‘Innovation Together: Enabling ICTs for Sustainable Development’ is rather appropriate and squarely challenges all of us, developed and developing countries.
We need to move from recognition to action, to integrate ICTs more systematically throughout the post-2015 agenda.
Harnessing ICTs more effectively is essential to NATCOM’S Mission Statement of delivering prosperity generally and for the promotion of sustainable development.
For Sierra Leone, the challenges in this area were even more demanding in the year 2014 up to date, when my country faced the worst outbreak of EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE in the history of mankind. Our system faced severe challenges of toll free calls to the Emergency Response Center set up to fight the outbreak. At the peak of the crisis, our system held up well and gave us an insight into the challenges of an ongoing emergency. We have the knowledge, the challenges for us is to apply them in ways that ensure that even the rural poor in our developing countries can benefit from the deployment of ICTs in our societies. The system worked well in the urban center of our country but there were chunks of territory and a vast population of people that were not covered.
I will like to take this opportunity on behalf of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea to thank the international community for the support given on the Ebola crisis.
I will also like to thank all Sierra Leoneans both home and abroad for the love and unity we displayed and continue to exhibit throughout this period.