245 businesses registered in 2020 - reveals Local Content Agency boss
By Mohamed Bangura (Intern)
Director General of Sierra Leone Local Content Agency has revealed that agency succeeded in registering 245 businesses in 2020 as compared to 95 businesses in 2019.
“We succeeded in registering 245 businesses in Sierra Leone. We experience an increase of 158%,” Fodeba Daboh said.
Highlighting the gains made in 2020, Mr. Daboh stated that amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the Agency was able to ensure that 90% of the supermarkets across Freetown dedicated “Made in Salone” shelves- creating a space for local entrepreneurs to thrive.
“We also succeeded in negotiating with the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau to have a 75% discount in testing fees. This implies that businesses that are registered with the agency are issued with a certificate of testing, and once that happens, they will be given the 75% discount,” he revealed.
According to him, the Agency secured contract of Le150million for a local entrepreneur, “Salone Creative” for the production of locally made facemasks for school children. He added that other local entrepreneurs also received grants through the agency’s intervention.
“In the area of capacity building, we were able to conduct trainings for fifteen (15) local entrepreneurs across each region in the country. They were trained in exhibition skills and branding, which are very crucial to developing local content,” he said.
He said for the first time they were able to produce an annual report, in addition to a study within the Mano River Union, which is being supported by GIZ and that the outcome will lead to the first local content conference.
Explaining some of the Agency’s plans for the year 2021, Mr. Daboh said they will continue to engage in outreach activities, as well as online communications.
He spoke about plans to review the agency’s Act, expand market channels, as well as establishing a “made in Salone” plaza in different regions across the country.
“We will focus our attention in human capital development and develop a critical database so that Sierra Leoneans will take jobs in local content. We will also prioritize skills workforce development programs as well as robust monitoring within the local content sector,” he assured.
He highlighted inadequate funding, lack of staff capacity and lack of knowledge of local content among the people of Sierra Leone as some of the challenges faced.