March 29, 2023

Governance Commission Ends Two-Day Local Content Policy

A two-day discussion by the Governance Commission on a local content policy that will support the expansion and improvement of small enterprises in Liberia has come to an end. Elizabeth Dorkin, vice chair of the Governance Commission, said the local content policy will aid in the transfer of expertise and information that can be obtained through improved interaction with international firms while speaking at the event marking the start of the deliberation.

According to her, the policy is required to guarantee that there is a sufficient connection between the domestic economy and foreign businesses because the Liberian government wants to ensure that the advantages that Liberia seeks to obtain from foreign direct investment, such as improved technology and management skills, are integrated into the domestic market and distribution network by setting specific performance requirements.

“Local policy content will allow the transmission of knowledge and information that may be learned through engagement with the foreign firms which have superior production processes,” according to the local policy content.

Commissioner Dorkin noted that this will serve as a benchmark for investment agreement negotiations, which will be guided by the policy’s requirements. This applies to all parties involved in projects, operations, activities, and transactions in Liberia, including operators, contractors, subcontractors, and other entities.

The local content policy will also simplify procedures to ensure that investors are not unnecessarily burdened by the local content standards. Mrs. Dirkin stated

She asserts that the policy’s primary goal is to support the expansion and improvement of the local private sector’s human resource capacity by taking advantage of openings created by significant investments in the area of natural resources. She explained that because the policy considers the value contributed to the local, regional, or national economy from the extractive sector, it will also support the local economy by leveraging links to foreign direct investments beyond the profits generated. The Vice Chairperson of the Governance Commission reaffirmed that local content works to ensure that all businesses employ local employees and buy local goods and services.

“Local content helps the smallholder business sector, according to Francis Mwatt, an agricultural economist with the Ministry of Agriculture.”

According to him, the local content will look at the business people who are outside the circle of the government. Mr. Mwatt noted the enabling environment for people from the private sector to drive the economy and hopes that the government continues to engage the private sector.

Emmanuel Togba, the CEO of Aminata and Sons, James Strother, the president of the Liberia Business and Association, and Edwin Dennis, the director general of the National Bureau of Concession, participated on the panel during the discussion. Some of the subjects covered included how the local content policy may support Liberia’s private sector’s expansion, problems and obstacles, and the government’s role in supporting and implementing the local content policy.

Participants in the two discussions included representatives from the National Investment Commission, the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Bureau of Investment, Arcellor Mittar, and the Liberia Extractive Transparency Initiative. Additionally, the participants went over the draft local content policy that will later be given to the cabinet for evaluation.

Reported by: Augustine Octavius

Contact: +231777463963


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