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Thursday, 20 June 2019

ORANGE AND DSTI PARTNERSHIP: THE FIRST FREE CODING SCHOOL IN SIERRA LEONE.


Orange Sierra Leone and DSTI (The Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation) have partnered to create an initiative that could change the lives of many in Sierra Leone. At the end of last month, I was invited to the launch of 'The first free Coding School' here in Freetown Sierra Leone. As we move into the digital realm that is becoming mainstream at a fast rate across the spectrum in multiple industries, Aminata Kane Ndiaye the CEO of Orange and Dr. Moinina David Sengeh of DSTI explained the process and intentions behind the scheme. “It is important that Sierra Leone is no longer left behind in the changes that require new skills”. Orange have already set up three coding schools on the continent in Senegal, Tunisia and Niger making Sierra Leone the fourth in Africa.

“We want to see Salone be at the digital forefront.” Said the CEO of Orange as she expressed why it is important to learn the transferrable skill set coding has to offer. The aim is to create an enabling environment for their target audience, which are the youth. More professionals are needed in this field of work, especially in West Africa. The first free coding school will be located in Freetown with the hopes of later expanding to the provinces. Ndiaye stressed that in the future “Languages will not be enough, you need to learn how to code”. 


Where? The innovation hub (fifth floor) at the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM)

The two divisions Orange and DSTI have been working closely with the VP of IPAM, Dr Edmond Nonie on this project. As the professor kindly provided the location for the new innovation hub. All three institutions have come together to collaborate on the common grounds of intentionally supporting an ecosystem that creates and encourages innovation and entrepreneurship in Sierra Leone. With the innovation hub, students of the free coding school will be exposed to many attributes that a linked to coding. E.g How Artificial Intelligence works, 3D printing etc. At the moment in Sierra Leone, Njala University is the institution known for Computer Science courses, however this partnership expands that. The aim is for Sierra Leone to be known for it's digital transformation and Innovation in the years to come. Before the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between The DSTI Chief Innovation Officer, Dr Moinina David Sengeh and the CEO of Orange. Aminata Kane Ndiaye emphasised on the importance of the private sectors having to lead when it comes to innovation in order to move ahead and why we need the skill sets here (coding) on the grounds instead of importing them. She went on to explain there will also be ‘Super coder classes’ for children to get engaged and understand the value of coding through games and why we must ‘catch them while they are young' before ending with the honest truth of the matter that ; “Coding is a matter of survival.”


This is an initiative that could not have come at a better time. Not only is the coding school free, it will give individuals the opportunity to learn new and vital skills. Most importantly it will create job opportunity for Sierra Leoneans that have acquired the coding skills that the free school has to offer.

How do I apply?

The school will open at the end of the year, for updates on how to apply check Orange and DSTIs respected websites.


This is a sponsored post.





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Monday, 17 June 2019

Y SQUARE POD: S02E04 - SABABU & NOSTALGIA



We are back with episode 4 of season 2!

In this episode the duo discusses the pros and cons of Sababu. The English translation of this word 'Sababu' from Krio is  'nepotism'. Yasmin  and Yasmine share there own example of this before going on a trip down memory lane as the pair reflect on nostalgic childhood memories. Enjoy the episode!


Find us here!




Photo by Dominque Fofanah




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Tuesday, 11 June 2019

YASMIN TELLS YOUTUBE: 2 DAYS AT BONTHE ISLAND & MANIA, SIERRA LEONE



Take a look at the second video on Yasmin TELLS Youtube channel. Back in April of this year, I had the opportunity to visit the southern region of Sierra Leone with start up travel company HSL Tours. Bonthe was a trip to remember, if only I could have stayed a day longer I believe I would have got a more detailed analysis of the island that was once a major export of Piassava. That being said we fit a lot into one evening before making our way to Mania Beach the following day. Mania is just over 30 minutes away from Bonthe Island on the speedboat. The majestic coast line of Mania is inhabited by just four hundred people. The citizens of Mania showed us their village, we also met the Chief and children of Mania Beach before making a 7 hour journey back to Freetown, Sierra Leone. I hope you enjoy the video and learn something new about another region of Sierra Leone.



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Wednesday, 5 June 2019

WHAT NOT TO MISS THIS JUNE 2019

We are halfway through the year already; it’s gone by so fast. Let’s make the new month of June one to remember! Here are a few events to not miss this June 2019.


This is the 4th Africa Tech Summit taking place as part of the London Tech Summit. If you are in the digital space and interested to find out how international tech leaders and investors want to drive growth within the tech industry, this event will be taking place at Grange ST. Paul’s Hotel in London from 8am to 7pm on the 11th June.

Image of appsafrica.com
2.The Chemist | 7th June | Freetown, Sierra Leone

The Chemist are a pop up event that host monthly events in Freetown creating unique cocktails alongside your favourite old school game. Due to the rainy season in Sierra Leone this will be the Chemists last event until later on in the year. If you’re in town, don’t miss it!

Image from The Chemist Sierra Leone


Travel Eat Slay will be hosting their second Sip and Paint event at the Huckletree in Shoreditch. If you like art or you want to try something new in the city, this is the event for you.





This expo is a two-day showcase of pan-African culture, commerce and development at the Olympia Conference Centre. The event offer day passes and weekend passes. If you are interested in Pan Africanism, and are seeking further information on travel, tech and food from the continent, this event is for you.

Image from Olympia London

In collaboration with the London Festival of Architecture and the Design Museum a collective of emerging voices in architecture will share and discuss the current climate in London, housing, politics and what will the future look like for the next generation of designers and architects. Join the conversation, more information here.

Image from designmuseum.org


6. Barcelona Design Week| 12th-20th June| Barcelona, Spain

Since the year 2006, Barcelona Design week has been one of the most anticipated Design Weeks with the support of Barcelona Design Center (BCD), Barcelon City Council and the Government of Catalonia. 120 activities will be open to the city, with multiple workshops, exhibitions and talks under this year’s theme of ‘Transitions'.



7. Sierra Leone Trade & Investment Forum | 6th June | London, United Kingdom

Tomorrow opens the doors for the Sierra Leone Trade and Investment Forum. The event will be used as a platform for the Sierra Leonean government to showcase the opportunities in various industries such as tourism, mining and agriculture. Find the conference programme here on The Sierra Leone Telegraph.


Express Ya Self dance workshop is delivered by Tamar, fouder of Unique Movez Dance Collective, the workshop comes after the success of two workshops empowering women to express them through dance. The event ends with cakes, if you are interested in dance and in Birmingham don’t miss out!



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