The Chief Minister of the Republic of Sierra Leone, David Moinina Sengeh will be participating in the first Grand Challenges Annual Meeting in Dakar, Senegal, held from 8-11 October at the Centre International Conference Centre Abdou Diouf (CICAD).

The theme of the Meeting is “Science Saves Lives,” which will explore how the global health community can expand the frontiers of science and innovation to save and improve lives.

The Program will feature more than 15 scientific tracks, three mainstage plenary sessions, more than 20 roundtable discussions, poster sessions, creative moments, and over 100 side meetings which will focus on how collaboration, scientists, and leaders across the Research and Development (R&D) space can accelerate innovation for impact.

The program is set to host not just the Chief Minister who also doubled as Sierra Leone’s Chief Innovation Officer, but also world leaders, philanthropic and representatives of the private sectors with researchers and innovators hoping to shape the future of science, emphasize the value of innovation, and move ideas for accelerating R&D from conversation to action.

As this is the first time the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting is being held in Africa and Senegal, it is now going to be the Regional Office for the Grand Challenges beginning next year 2024.

This meeting is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its Grand Challenge Partners and has become the preeminent forum for global health R&D.

It is said to convene a dynamic community of researchers and practitioners and provide a platform to learn about cutting-edge scientific advances, build new local, regional, and global collaborations, and explore how to build a more effective, inclusive, and equitable ecosystem for global health R&D.

On Tuesday 10th October, the Chief Minister will participate in a panel discussion on AI for the World: Advancing Inclusive and Equitable Use of Artificial Intelligence. The other panelists will be Bill Gates, Julian Rotich, Head of Fintech Integration- Kenya, and Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, Minister of Health Rwanda. This session will be moderated by Larry Madowo of CNN.

There will be the launch of a Grand Challenges call-for-proposals focused on artificial intelligence funded by a broad set of Grand Challenges partners as this year’s Grand Challenges is celebrating its 20th anniversary. So far, Grand Challenges partners have supported over 3700 projects across more than 115 countries globally.