Category: Articles

Big Data, Internet of things(IOT), Artificial Intelligence(AI), are not your friend

Written by Mabel IroonSky Turay
Three days ago, I went to three remote villages. These villages are in the middle of nowhere, void of human pollution and civilization. We used motorbikes to get to the first village and had to walk through very narrow footpaths guided by dense forests to the other villages. The inquisitive, yet melodious chirps, the occasional caresses of the graceful green grass, glimpses of millipedes and centipedes going on about their business, random thoughts of anaconda snakes appearing from nowhere and bush people kidnapping us; it was a daring experience. The villagers were a warm and welcoming bunch. I was truly happy and excited, until it was nighttime and I was told we had to sleep over because it was unsafe to go back to the other village where we could possibly get a motorbike back to town.

Full Article Written by Mable IroonSky Turay

Understanding Innovation in Salone

On  Friday September 15th GEN SL (Freetown Pitch Night )was part of an event explore the status of innovation in Sierra Leone.

Five  Entrepreneurs presented their innovative solutions across the ecosystem in Sierra Leone.  A panel of judges provided feedback to each pitch with the aim of providing them with expert advice to steer the development of their ideas or ventures.

It was quite an exciting evening.  The special guests were;

Tavares Stratchen – from Isolated Lab is an award winning contemporary artist and designer whose multi-media installations investigate science, technology, mythology, history, and exploration.

David Moinina Sengeh – the Chief Innovation Officer for the Government of Sierra Leone is the former Research Manager and Research Scientist at IBM Research Lab in Nairobi, Kenya. His previous work focused on the design and deployment of healthcare technologies. His recent works include Artificial Intelligence, Data Science,  Software Development,  Software  Engineering and Data Visualisation.

The event was hosted at Sensi Tech Hub. Other GEN SL partners included Orange, Cordaid, Insight and Innovate SaLone

Understanding Innovation in Salone:

This event was designed to not only understand the players in the ecosystem but  to explore the intersection of technology, innovation and social impact ventures. By so doing, the event  informed participants about the complex relationships that are formed between actors or entities whose functional goal is to enable technology development and innovation.


The Fomel Industry and National Industrialization Centre called FINIC for short, is delighted yet again to make a publication about another invention. This publication is about an invention targeted at finding a solution to the drudgery problem of processing palm oil faced by small oil palm plantation holders. They are often limited to a drudgery ridden traditional systems that have impeded growth chances in the palm oil industry. More often than not, feet are used to crush boiled fruits so as to rupture the oil bearing cells for maximization of the oil yield chances. To crush a drum content equivalent to 150kg of fruits, will take 2 hours for 4 energetic persons to do.

This method is not only nauseous, unhygienic and undignified, but it is also time consuming. It is a very serious factor limiting small oil palm plantation holders in the realization of returns on their investment.

FINIC, being a Small Scale Industry generating technologies for Agro Processing, was jolted into action to design and construct a manually operated machine that crushes the fruits in an effective and efficient way to replace the feet and 10 folds faster.



The efficiency and effectiveness of the machine can be described as extra ordinary. With little effort applied, it can crush a drum content – which is equivalent to 150kg of fruits – in 20 minutes. In an 8 hour day operation, the machine can crush 24 drums (3,600kg) of fruits. With a recovery of 50 litres (two and half batas) of oil per every drum, a total of 1,200 litres (6 drums) of oil will be extracted. The reminder of the task is to clarify the oil for which equipment have also been designed and field proven. See pics below.


The machine is of manual operation and the operating mode is by 2 persons, each one on one end of the two operating levers pushing in a clockwise direction. The FINIC design crushes the fruits to rupture the oil bearing cells making it different from the screw press type which presses/squeezes oil.


Half a drum content (75kg) of fruits is the batch quantity. That quantity is poured into the machine in one go and 2 persons are enough to operate the machine and have that content crushed within 8 minutes.


The performance of the equipment has thrilled many in Kenema District. People are amazed at its effectiveness. It is lighter in weight than the screw press type that was in operation in that district, and is 3 times more effect


The palm oil yield from a drum of palm fruits is also, to an amazing extent enhanced. The Press type previously in use was recording a yield of 29 litres ( 1 batta and 2 gallons) from a drum content (150kg) of palm fruits. The FINIC crusher type is recording a yield of 49 litres (2 batas and 2 gallons). An additional 20 litres is hugely impressive. This is unsurprising given the ability of the machine to thoroughly crush the fleshy parts of the palm fruits, puncturing the cells that carry the oil. The press type is weak in that hence its inability to produce more oil.

Within 2 days of putting it into operation in Kenema District, the owner has earned 80 litres (4 batas ) of palm oil being payment for the service. For every drum crushed, a gallon of oil is given as payment.

Within 2 months of its design, FINIC has sold 9 units and each client that bought the machine is extremely happy about it’s performance. This is all without publicity which I am only now engaging in for this invention.

A Catholic nun in Koidu town was among those 9 clients. Having tried it for the first time, she wrote me this text message:

” Mr. Kamara, we have put the machine into operation. It operated very well. God bless you”

On the 19th of June 2018 , the machine was introduced to a community in a village 12 mile


s from Kenema. The outstanding performance of the equipment is now talk of the surrounding villages. Since then, I have been receiving calls requesting for more.
Below is an audio of an interview I had with a client about the performance of the machine.


Mobility of the machine is made easy by carrying it on an okada or mount it on a motor cycle trailer built by FINIC to be pulled by a motor bike dedicated for the purpose. See pics below.








To my fellow Sierra Leoneans, I have this to state:
Technologies developed by our own, have greater chances to succeed than those researched into by brains across the sea. Those in abroad, take into account their home conditions and circumstances which are different from ours.
Importation all the way does not only destroy/impede our foreign exchange earning capabilities as too many people will be running after the dollar, but will also weaken our brain ability to go for the unknown knowns.

I am aware that we have been conditioned by importation over a long period of time. We are stuck in the past and carry the belief that only the white man can do it. Let us fight hard to break that cocoon by believing in our own. If you believe in me, more sleeping giant neurons in my brain will come out of the slumber to challenge the known unknowns. This will have a positive knock on effect on our children.

Lean on me ! Believe in me ! All other positives things shall be added on to us.
The invention has graduated our palm oil processors to another level. On account of this invention, we are advantageously positioned than many countries in the sub region. No more to processing palm oil using the feet. We should therefore celebrate.

There will be a ground breaking ceremony to be organized involving our great institution SLeCAD.

When you think about a machine, think inbroad and think FINIC.

The next article will be on our amazing technology in cassava peeling.

FINIC is Good for Africa

To know more, call us at:

Tel: +23-76-601956

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