The 23 year-old Salton Massally, founder of www.careers.sl, received this years’ 2013 UNDP Innovation Award at the first Social Good Summit in Sierra Leone, hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the University of Sierra Leone this Monday, September 23.
Under the theme: How can ICT empower Sierra Leone youth, a total of six entrepreneurs presented their initiatives and highlighted how their work helps empower young people in Sierra Leone in front of over a hundred and fifty students and development organization representatives. The showcased projects ranged from Splash, the country’s first mobile payment system; to ICT nationwide trainings supporting economic development; to Massally’s job-search engine wherein employers can publish their job adverts and receive applications from job-seekers.
ICT can be a great tool to promote socio-economic development in Sierra Leone. It is very fulfilling to see how many people are using our portal every day and how we can help the disadvantaged to get access to the job market,” Massally explained his motivation behind starting this website and maintaining it with a team of three other young entrepreneurs, despite the fact that it hasn’t been financially sustainable so far. “This summit has helped me to raise awareness for careers.sl and find partners who believe in it as much as I do and possibly are interested in supporting it financially.
Careers.sl won the $1000 award after receiving the highest number of votes from participants as well as a distinguished jury composed of Jamie Bedson, Country Manager of Restless Development, Ziad Safdar of the World Bank as well as Mohamed Abchir, UNDP Deputy Country Director.
“Young people are our current and future leaders and innovators who are the connectors to this new era, the era of technology,” UNDP Director Sudipto Mukerjee pointed out in his opening address. “Every young Sierra Leonean citizen has something to contribute to the transformation and improvement of the country.”
A partnership of the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others, the Social Good Summit gives a global platform for national and international innovators to discuss how Information and Communication Technology can contribute to global development. This year, the summit has taken place in over 120 countries and for the first time since its inception in 2010, Freetown has participated.
UNDP Sierra Leone as part of the One UN, is striving to promote inclusive development. Partnering with people at all levels of Sierra Leone’s society, UNDP drives and sustains the kind of growth that improves everyone’s quality of life and offers opportunities for young Sierra Leonean to participate in shaping their country’s future.