President Julius Maada Bio addressed the 2024 Sierra Leone Innovates Tech Summit, underscoring the nation’s commitment to technological advancement and digital inclusivity. The summit witnessed the official launch of the StarLink Internet Service in Sierra Leone, a significant milestone in the country’s digital transformation journey.

During his address, President Bio emphasized the importance of utilizing the newly available internet service for constructive and developmental purposes. “Ladies and gentlemen, today we all witnessed the official launching of the StarLink Internet Service in this summit, which underscores our commitment and our process to enhance in providing every citizen access to the internet and the opportunities available online,” President Bio remarked.

The president’s speech highlighted the critical role of internet access in fostering national development. He urged citizens to focus on leveraging this new resource to drive progress and innovation, rather than engaging in unproductive activities. “Use that for development and not for gossiping. Use that for development and not for threatening national security,” he stressed.

President Bioโ€™s message resonated with the theme of the summit, which centered around harnessing technology for national growth. He reiterated that Sierra Leone, as one of the least developed countries, must seize every opportunity to advance. “All we want in development is our preoccupation as one of the least developing countries is to latch on to every opportunity available,” he asserted.

The introduction of StarLink, a satellite internet constellation being constructed by SpaceX, is expected to significantly enhance internet connectivity across Sierra Leone, particularly in rural and underserved areas. This initiative aligns with the government’s broader strategy to bridge the digital divide and foster a more inclusive digital economy.

Attendees at the summit included government officials, tech entrepreneurs, and representatives from various sectors, all of whom echoed the president’s sentiments on the pivotal role of internet access in modernizing Sierra Leone. The launch of StarLink is seen as a transformative step that will open up new possibilities for education, business, and governance in the country.