24-year-old young innovator and self-taught engineer from Sierra Leone re-imagining the future even in uncertain times
UNDP Spotlights Sierra Leonean Innovator who made his Country’s First Solar Car from Local Materials
September 14, 2022
In a decade when layers of uncertainty are interacting to create new kinds of uncertainty, 24-year-old Emmanuel Alie Mansaray, a young innovator and self-taught engineer from Sierra Leone found his passion for re-imagining the future after he first built locally made solar powered tricycle for persons with disability, and a 600-watt soundless fuel free generator in 2018.
Emmanuel’s latest feat is to be featured in a world premiered movie on the power of grassroots innovations entitled “For Tomorrow: The Documentary”
Set to be unveiled at the Walter Reade Theater in New York City on 15th September 2022, his new recognition came after he developed the first locally made solar-powered car from trash and recycled materials in 2020.
This event is held in proximity to the United Nations General Assembly, co-organized by the UNDP Accelerator Labs, the world's largest learning network on sustainable development, and Hyundai Motor Company.
“There are so many challenges in my country. However, I still see potential and tons of opportunities around these challenges now being compounded by daily uncertainty,” said Emmanuel Alie Mansaray.
Emmanuel has been working hard since 2018 to contribute to solving development challenges through discovering and building prototypes for testing and scaling. In 2019, Emmanual’s prototype was identified and validated by UNDP Sierra Leone Accelerator Lab during its nationwide grassroots solution mapping exercise, as a high potential innovator, enrolled in a 6-month (July-December 2018) Design and Entrepreneurship Training Programme to build capacity for young innovators.
In 2021, Emmanuel built an easy prosthetic limb prototype for amputees and pitched it under the Assistive Technology Category during the UNDP Social Goods Summit where he emerged as the runner up.
In early 2022, he made a prototype rechargeable portable solar powered light for school pupils living in homes without electricity, powering few households during experimentation.
“There are so many challenges in my country. However, I still see potential and tons of opportunities around these challenges now being compounded by daily uncertainty,”said Emmanuel Alie Mansaray.
Emmanuel is super excited with a mix feeling of success which he believes has brought him steps closer to his goal, and a sense of hope that young people have a critical role to play as key actors for a future-smart development.
Receiving news that his story was successfully featured in the global movie of grassroots innovators, Emmanuel was shocked to learn that he will be part of the world premier and launching of the documentary in New York.
Mr. Mansaray believes that attending this event will bring him new opportunity to network with other innovators and development partners beyond his continent, while he inspires other young folks from his country to unlock their potential by responding to local challenges. He also believes that leveraging the collaboration with #forTomorrow Initiative, UNDP Accelerator Lab and Hyundai will help him achieve his current and future innovation career goals.