MONROVIA: In the wake of two decades of civil unrest that left Liberia grappling with staggering unemployment rates, ArcelorMittal Liberia emerged as a beacon of hope, playing a pivotal role in rebuilding the nation’s economic foundations. Demonstrating unwavering commitment, the company has become a driving force in creating opportunities for residents, significantly contributing to the resurgence of Liberian families.
A watershed moment it occurred in 2011 when ArcelorMittal Liberia hired 134 Liberians, creating 133 new positions and setting the stage for a remarkable upward trajectory in employment figures. The workforce expanded from 386 in 2010 to 651 in 2012, reaching a proud milestone in 2018 with 2,000 employees, of whom approximately 90% are Liberian nationals.
Emphasizing sustainability, the company continues to offer employment opportunities through both direct payroll positions and contract work, empowering local communities and fostering skill development among residents. Last year, CEO Jozephus (Joep) Coenen announced that the company’s phase two expansion alone created 3,000 jobs during its construction phase.
ArcelorMittal Liberia stands as a testament to equal opportunity employment, vehemently opposing discrimination based on age, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability. The company’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce enriches the working environment and contributes to its success.
Positive employee relations are integral to ArcelorMittal Liberia’s success, guided by a comprehensive employee relations policy ensuring consistent implementation. Open and continuous dialogue with employees, facilitated informally and through trade unions, fosters partnerships built on trust and mutual respect.
Addressing workplace issues securely and productively is a priority for ArcelorMittal Liberia, with the establishment of a formal grievance procedure. This process allows employees to voice concerns through an independent chairperson, ensuring a fair and just resolution to problems.
In pursuit of employee development, ArcelorMittal Liberia is implementing succession planning to create opportunities and enhance employee capabilities for higher roles and responsibilities. Recognizing its people as its greatest asset, the company has developed a comprehensive talent management strategy, exemplified by ArcelorMittal University—a resource dedicated to imparting valuable skills to its diverse global workforce.
The company’s commitment to training is evident through the ArcelorMittal Liberia training team’s engagement in ongoing educational development via various workshop series. A mandatory two-day general site induction training program underscores the company’s emphasis on ethical standards and best practices, covering policies ranging from safety to human rights.
ArcelorMittal Liberia’s multi-layered approach to employment, employee relations, and development not only underscores its commitment to business success but also highlights its integral role in fostering a resilient and empowered workforce. In doing so, the company contributes significantly to Liberia’s sustained growth and prosperity.
ArcelorMittal’s substantial investments in Liberia since the end of the civil war have played a pivotal role in the nation’s economic recovery. The infusion of capital has not only resuscitated the key mining industry but has also acted as a catalyst for job creation on a significant scale.
The company’s commitment to hiring local talent has not only helped reduce unemployment rates but has also provided stable employment opportunities for thousands of Liberians in mining, business, and other sectors. This, in turn, contributes to the overall improvement of livelihoods, fostering a sense of economic stability among the populace.
Furthermore, ArcelorMittal’s investments have had a pronounced impact on Liberia’s GDP growth. The company’s operations have spurred economic activities in related sectors, such as transportation, logistics, and services. The ripple effect of this economic stimulation has contributed substantially to the nation’s overall economic output especially during the post-Ebola era, demonstrating the positive correlation between foreign investments and a nation’s economic prosperity as GDP growth is crucial for Liberia’s long-term economic resilience and competitiveness on the global stage.
In addition, the investments made by ArcelorMittal have played a crucial role in poverty reduction. By providing employment opportunities and contributing to economic growth, the company has become a key driver in lifting communities out of poverty. The creation of jobs, coupled with various community development initiatives, has not only improved living standards but has also empowered local populations to actively participate in the nation’s economic resurgence.
As a result, ArcelorMittal’s presence has become a beacon of hope for poverty alleviation, showcasing the transformative power of responsible foreign investment.
Given the positive trajectory of ArcelorMittal’s contributions to Liberia’s economic recovery, job creation, GDP growth, and poverty reduction, the government must approve ArcelorMittal Liberia’s current 3rd Mineral Development Agreement (MDA). This agreement, which entails an additional investment of 1.2 billion dollars in Liberia, as reported by multiple media outlets holds the promise of further economic expansion and prosperity.
Approving the MDA will not only signal the government’s endorsement of a key player in Liberia’s economic resurgence but will also pave the way for continued collaboration, ensuring sustained growth, development, and investment for the benefit of the entire nation.
The approval of the 3rd MDA thus stands as a crucial step toward solidifying Liberia’s position as an attractive destination for foreign investment and fostering a brighter, more prosperous future for its citizens.