15 February 2019

Liberia: 'It Is Sad Being an Innovator in Liberia'

Liberia is blessed with numerous talented people yet remain poor and undeveloped.

One reason for this situation is the lack of support for creative individuals like innovator Reuben Murray, who has not been able to find an investor or get support from the Liberian government for his business that could lead to economic boom and job growth.

"It is sad being an innovator in Liberia's because you are unable to realize your dreams. There is no policy from the government or the private sector, most especially banks, to make substantial funds available for people like us.

"The money they [would make] available is not free because they will own share in the business which makes them entitled to a profit. I'm even giving up and don't have the smallest hope that I will ever mass produce my innovation," he said.

Some of Murray's works include an engine control system for cars and other moving objects which are controlled via a cellphone by dialing a secret code to either start or stop the motorize object.

The engine control system works by dialing a code through the mobile phone to either deactivate or to start the car or the motorbike engine.

"If someone who is using the engine control system car is stolen, they can switch off the car engine by just by dialing the deactivation code, and it will immediately stop," said Reuben in an interview with the Daily Observer last year.

Another one of Reuben's creations is an electronic mosquito net, which goes up and comes down with the help of a remote control.

He also has made a backup system which protects a home from intruder or criminal. The system, when breached, immediately calls the house owner no matter his location who will then communicate with the individual that breached the boundary set up by the system.

Reuben's devices, unlike other devices that protect homes, works without internet connections and a solar panel which makes it easy to use and accessible to all, regardless of their economic status if mass produced.

Reuben added it is impossible for Liberia to grow and meet up with developed economies in the world if the government and corporate entities do not support people with creative minds.

The Liberian innovator added that if people like him are empowered, it will lead to more creations that will have a positive impact on the science and technological developments of the country.

"The devices are workable but need some finishing touches, that's all. Yet, I can't get funding for it. It is about time government start to invest in innovation because it influences strategic planning which leads to wealth creation for the country," he said, adding that in so doing, it would allow the country to improve on technological developments.

Realizing that Liberia is economically over-dependent on foreign-made goods, Reuben disclosed that he declined an investment opportunity from a Chinese national who wanted the company to be built in China and not in Liberia.

"I declined the opportunity because I wanted to use my talent to contribute towards boosting the economy of [my] country. If I had known, I would not have turned down the investment opportunity form that Chinese guy," Reuben added.

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