Liberia’s manpower development drive, as firmly articulated by Liberian Government has just got a major boost; courtesy of one of Liberia’s largest post-conflict transcontinental concessionaires, ArcelorMittal, which has awarded international scholarships to six Liberians to study varying technical fields. The company is renowned for keeping within the ambit of laws, particularly legal obligations germane to its operations and the growth of the Liberian economy. Clearly, the awarding of the six scholarships is not merely a timely fulfillment of the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) with Government, but also a major booster of the Liberian Government’s determination which amongst other things emphasizes human capital development. The Analyst reports.
In compliance with the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) between ArcelorMittal and the Government of Liberia, the ArcelorMittal-Liberia Ltd (AML) has awarded six scholarships to qualified Liberians to study in various technical disciplines in Ghana and Kenya.
The scholarships were awarded after a vigorous vetting process that ended with the beneficiaries signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for ‘Cycle V’ of the ArcelorMittal Advanced Academic Studies Scholarship (AAASS).
Held at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, the final signing ceremony of the MOU between ArcelorMittal Liberia LTD and Six Liberian students who have been awarded the Scholarships took place on Friday, September 6, 2019 in the presence of officials of the Concession and the Lands, Mines and Energy Ministry.
Five of the students, according to documentation in possession of The Analyst, will pursue graduate studies at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Accra, Ghana, while one of the awardees is a candidate for of Masters of Science in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at University of Nairobi in Kenya.
The beneficiaries include Levi Nya Paye, 30, a candidate for the degree of Master of Science in Water Resources Engineering and Management at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology in Accra Ghana.
Also awarded the Scholarship is Shaffa Korvawu Kokro Jr, 25-year-old Shaffa Korvawu Kokro Jr. of Montserrado County and graduate of the University of Liberia with BSc Electrical Engineering, who will be a candidate for Masters of Science Degree in Electrical Electronic Engineering at University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Solo Bloe Gbayor, 35, and from Montserrado County, who is a graduate of the University of Liberia with a BSc Degree in Mining Engineering, is also a candidate Master of Science Degree in Occupational &Environmental Health and Safety at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, while a 33-year-old daughter of Lofa County, Beatrice Kollie who graduated from the Cuttington University with Bachelor Degree in Nursing is also awarded the scholarship to pursue Master degree for Public Health in Population and Reproduction at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology in Ghana.
Also benefitting from the scholarship are 27-year-old K. Marvie Reed of Lofa County, a graduate of the University of Liberia with bachelor degree in Mining Engineering is a candidate for a Master of Science Degree in Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology in Ghana; while Simeon G. Kpaingbaye of Nimba County, a graduate of the Tubman University with a bachelor degree in Public Health, is awarded the opportunity to study for Master of Science in Occupational & Environmental Health and Safety at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology in Ghana.
ArcelorMittal Liberia was represented at the occasion by Ms. Peggy Varfley, the Head of Human Resources and Development of ArccelorMittal, while Mr. Carlton Miller. Deputy Lands, Mines and Energy represented his Ministry.
Speaking at the occasion, ArcelorMittal-Liberia’s Head of Human Resources and Development, Ms. Varfley who deputized for the ArccelorMittal Liberia LTD’s Chief Executive Officer Scott Lowehe extend his thanks and appreciation to the authorities of the Ministry of Lands, Mines & Energy for the level of support accorded the company in the entire process.
Ms. Varfley said ArccelorMittal Liberia LTD is committed in sending students away for studies to be trained in the areas that Liberia lacks in term of expertise.
Addressing the recipients of the scholarships, the Company’s head of Human Resources and development indicated that “we always hear that the country does not have the capacity to award scholarships to students to study in the sciences that are needed, so with this opportunity, we are looking up to the you, students, to bring the success stories and joint the company; for this, we advise that you go out there and study hard, and come back so that we all can build this country”,
Ms. Varfley indicated.
For his part, Deputy Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Miller dispelled on behalf of the Ministry the notion that Liberians lack the expertise to do work for which international partners are bringing foreign experts.
Deputy Minister Miller expressed appreciation to ArccelorMittal Liberia LTD family for assisting the country to further help build the capacity of Liberians in those areas that the country lacks of expertise.
The ArcelorMittal Advanced Academic Studies Scholarship is a strategic tool to address significant skill gaps in Liberia. Its objective is to support highly qualified Liberians to obtain advanced academic degrees from accredited academic institutions of higher learning in fields of studies related to mining and other strategic industries.
The AAASS program was officially launched in August 2012; and the amended Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) between ArcelorMittal and the Government of Liberia (GoL), states that AML is to provide an aggregate amount of at least Two Hundred Thousand Dollars (US$200,000.00) per year to fund new scholarships for qualified Liberian citizens to pursue advance studies abroad in the fields of studies related to mining and other strategic industries in Liberia.
The Ministry of Mines & Energy, Ministry of Education and the National Bureau of Concessions played an active role in the AAASS committee, seeking out Liberia’s brightest scholars to advance their education from the end of 2018 to September 2019 for “Cycle V” of the scholarship. Six scholars were selected as awardees based on their outstanding applications, interviews and the relevance of their future studies to mining related industries in Liberia.