Sierra Leone Franklyn Koroma Invents ‘Udat’ Security Device: Discovering himself after UNDP’s Support to ‘High Potential’ Innovators

June 2, 2021

Photo showing Franklyn Koroma, a young Sierra Leone inventor of ‘Udat’ Personal security Device. Photo Credit: @UNDP/Mohamed Kanu.

He won the UNDP special award category for innovative contributions to the fight against COVID-19 Pandemic after he invented a censored-based hand washing system that is user-friendly to person with disability while responding to a glaring need that left them (persons with disability) vulnerable to the pedal-based hand washing facilities which were positioned at entrances of Government Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the early stage of the pandemic.

After a 6-month (July-December, 2020) Design and Entrepreneurship Training to build capacity, coach and mentor first cohort of 20 (8 females; 12 males) high potential innovators identified through UNDP Accelerator Lab’s nationwide grassroot solutions mapping exercise which started in October 2019, 29 years old Franklyn Koroma has responded to a community challenge he started experiencing since childhood.

“After UNDP funded training at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, I was able to finally develop the ‘Udat’ personal security device having thought about it since 2017. This ‘Udat’ device is built with a censor that detects, scares off Intruders, and can be programmed to instantly call owner's mobile phones at any given time and distance before any suspicious activity or break-in,” says Franklyn.  

Franklyn was raised at the SOS Children's Village in Sierra Leone, and presently resides at Mount Aureol, a small community situated at the hilltop of Freetown with a population of over 2,000 residents and neighborhood to Fourah Bay College, a public university and first Western style in West Africa. The hillside part of the community is a hard-to-reach area and inaccessible to emergency services such as the fire rescue and ambulance services because of lack of roads. Police response time to incidents such as theft, break-in and/or intrusion reported from Mount Aureol community could also be delayed owing to the topography. Franklyn’s low cost, user friendly ‘Udat’ personal security device is designed with high probability to detect  intrusion from the exterior is a breakthrough that responds to secure properties and valuables, a perennial outcry both within and outside his community.

“I feel fulfilled that after benefiting from a training support by UNDP, I have contributed to solving a social problem by helping other Sierra Leoneans from the loss of property and household incursion. My next step now is to get about 1,200 ‘Udat’ products to households at a very competitive rate for Sierra Leoneans not able to afford expensive Internet Protocol (IP) security cameras,” he stated. 

Photo showing Franklyn Koroma pitching his ‘Udat’ security device to UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative-Rokya Ye-dieng. Photo Credit: @UNDP/Mohamd Kanu.

UNDP will be investing in Franklyn Koroma approximately $ 5,000 Dollars for procurement of capital-intensive equipment and the development of promotional materials such as flyers and roll up banners to market his newly developed modern and user-friendly security device to be launched in the market.

Together with our partners, UNDP is grateful to have been able to give young people like Franklyn Koroma the opportunity to grow themselves, critically rethink their innovations and operating models, and leading a life-changing experience with young people during a pandemic that reminds us how to support our beneficiaries from a distance.

“The UNDP/Limkokwing Training has shifted my focus from just designing a prototype to product effectiveness, affordability and user-friendly,”- Franklyn Koroma.

Our support to youth is consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and commitments highlighted in our Country Programme Document 2020-2023-believing that our engagement with young people today will determine the prospects for sustainable development and peace.