By Alkali Amana

The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr. Simbi Wabote, has called on African governments and policymakers to speed up efforts and be deliberate about local content development on the continent.

Addressing a convention of African leaders at the African Leadership Magazine Summit 2021 which was held virtually on September 17, 2021, with the theme ‘Africa 4.0: Redefining Growth, Sustainability and Innovation’ as he received the African Local Content Icon Award, Wabote noted that the pandemic induced lockdown during the previous year remains a sad reckoning of what it means to develop local capacities and capabilities across key sectors of any nation. 

In line with present conditions, he called on governments to capitalize on the lessons taught by the pandemic to speed up efforts at improving local content management and development using resources at their disposal.

“I expect governments and policymakers across the countries in Africa to speed up their efforts and to be deliberate about local content development leveraging on their peculiarities and natural endowments… in the last fifteen years, our continent has witnessed a flurry of oil and gas discoveries, and my reframe has been that we must bring these underground lessons to the surface for utilization or they become useless,” he said.

He noted that these resources must be used in creating employment for the teeming youth population in Africa while pulling people out of poverty in readiness for the upcoming energy shift which is inevitable. He also urged African leaders to realize the opportunities in the continent and swing into immediate action to seize them.