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Why Sierra Leone appointed a 31-year old MIT PhD as its first chief innovation officer


For years, particularly over the last decade, African countries have championed the idea of solving the continent’s myriad of problems with innovation and innovative thinkers. Many governments have done this through the traditional approach of recruiting scientists and academics within government departments of “science and technology” or “ICT & innovation”.

While those approaches have had some successes depending on the country, few have walked the walk and tried to put innovation and innovative philosophy front and center of their government. One such government has been Rwanda which hosted this year’s Next Einstein Forum of scientists and mathematicians and launched an innovation fund of $100 million, with 30% of funding coming from the African Development Bank.

But Sierra Leone is taking it one step further by appointing its first chief innovation officer to head the Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation which has been newly created by the recently electedpresident Julius Maada Bio, 54.

What makes Moinina David Sengeh’s appointment markedly different is that he will be operating within the Office of the President, unlike like the others on the continent, which are locked into the traditional governance structure and slow-moving bureaucracy of government ministries. “The directorate will facilitate and support a vibrant national innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem for both public and private sectors,” says a statement from the president’s office.

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 Henry T. Sampson, the Black man who invented the cell phone  On April 3rd, 1973, Motorola engineer Marty Cooper placed the first public call from a cellphone according to the Verge. In midtown Manhattan, Cooper called Joel Engel — head of rival research department Bell Labs — saying “Joel, this is Marty.

I’m calling you from a cellphone, a real handheld portable cell phone.” The call was placed on a Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, which weighed 2.5 pounds, a far cry from today’s 4-ounce handsets. If it wasn’t for Dr. Henry T. Sampson we wouldn’t have cell phone technology today.

Isn’t it funny how the mainstream media hasn’t made him a icon based off of his invention? Cellular telephony has spawned a Multi-billion dollar industry and has freed tens of millions of people, both at home and at work, to communicate anywhere, any time.

I would of thought he would on the Times and Forbes magazine’s next to Bill Gate and Steve Jobs for discovering one of the greatest creations of our time. On July 6th, 1971, Henry T. Sampson invented the “gamma-electric cell”, which pertains to Nuclear Reactor use.

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Cheddar Man: DNA shows early Briton had dark skin


A cutting-edge scientific analysis shows that a Briton from 10,000 years ago had dark brown skin and blue eyes.

Researchers from London's Natural History Museum extracted DNA from Cheddar Man, Britain's oldest complete skeleton, which was discovered in 1903.

University College London researchers then used the subsequent genome analysis for a facial reconstruction.

It underlines the fact that the lighter skin characteristic of modern Europeans is a relatively recent phenomenon.

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26-year-old founder wants to change payments in Africa



Aboyeji is the Co-Founder of Flutterwave, a payments API that makes it easier for banks and businesses to process payments across Africa. The service allows consumers to pay for things in their local currency; Flutterwave takes care of integrating banks and payment-service providers into its platform so businesses don't have to take on the expense and burden.

U.S. investors just poured $10 million of fresh funding into it. This sizable round comes one year after Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan led a $24 million funding round into another Africa-focused startup, Andela.

Andela, also cofounded by Aboyeji, trains and connects African developers to global companies for work.

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MP Inniss's Inflammatory Statement prompts Call for Apology


It has been brought to the attention of the public that human rights lawyer and Pan Africanist leader, brother David Commissiong has been the subject of a public denunciation by Barbados member of parliament, Donville Inniss.

As chairman of the Clement Payne centre of Barbados and the Caribbean Pan African Network, a committed internationalist and champion of poor and working people, for brother Commissiong and other Barbadian Pan Africanists and progressives to be attacked by MP Inniss as "...enemies of the state" is a reckless and dangerous precedent made by an elected public official.

That the statement was prompted by David Commissiong's leadership in demonstrations supporting the people and government of Venezuela, whose elected president Inniss described as a gangster, is more than intemperate. 

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