Sierra Leone: Local Content Agency Engages Local Enterpreneurs
By Stephen V. Lansana
The Sierra Leone Local Content Agency (SLLCA) has on Wednesday March 16, 2022 held a Roundtable Meeting with local enterpreneurs, at the Agency’s Conference Hall in Freetown.
The roundtable meeting which was organized by the Business Development Department of the SLLCA was well attended by local entrepreneurs from the Hospitality sector, Agribusiness, Arts/Craft, Clothing/Textiles, Carpentry/Woodworks, and Cosmetics sectors.
The Director General of the Agency, Fodeba Daboh explained that the roundtable meeting is in fulfillment of the mandate of the Agency to “Create Business Linkages for the domestic private sectors with the foreign Direct investments. This he noted will create a vibrant domestic private sector and transformed economy led by Sierra Leoneans in the near future.
Fodeba Daboh said that the meeting targeted local entrepreneurs from the Agri-business, Arts and Craft and cosmetics sectors, noting that there has been several of these meetings in other sectors with discussions centered on how to help link them with multi-national companies and the way forward for growth to be able to compete at the global stage.
“Local content, as I have always reiterated is not only about employment. It goes beyond employment of our locals,” he said. “As a matter of fact, if we have a goal to make this economy a local content economy, then we need to lessen the gap. There is a clear disconnect between our big multi-nationals and that of our local entrepreneurs.”
He emphazised that the role of the Agency is to bridge these gaps through procurement and supply market development.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Haja Isata Kamara has on the 16th March, 2022, urged hotel owners to increase the use of made in Sierra Leone products as a way of showcasing homemade food and interior décor produced locally, by Sierra Leone nationals as “charity Begins at home”.
Haja Isata Kamara emphasized that government is committed to ensuring that local content issues become a priority for Sierra Leoneans. She appealed to the local business owners to put more effort and strategies in terms of adding value to contents, packaging and labelling. She assured the local content Director General that she will work tooth and nail with him to achieve the local content vision.
The Deputy Registrar of Pharmacy Board in Sierra Leone, Mr. Mohamed Sesay said that this meeting will serve as an eye opener for businesses to see the need to test their products before making it available to the general public for consumption. He stressed that it is still a challenge for businesses to go through the pharmacy board before letting their products to the market, adding that sooner or later, policies will be put in place to address the situation.
The local entrepreneurs also registered their commitment to the process of taking the local economy in their own hands. They commended the director general Fodeba Daboh for his relentless effort in taking the local content to another level and also appealed for more support from the agency and government.
(L-R) Mohamed Lamin Daramy Head of Business Development of SLLCA; Haja Isata Kamara, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry; and DG of SLLCA