MONROVIA – Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor has applauded ArcelorMittal Liberia for its immense investment in education through local and international scholarships and other initiatives, as well as the training of Liberians at its world-class Training Academy in Yekepa. She said training Liberians and supporting young people to get advanced education will help to prepare them to actively participate in the development of Liberia.
Vice President Howard-Taylor was speaking on Thursday during a courtesy visit to the ArcelorMittal Liberia Buchanan Concession.
Speaking about AML’s expansion program, the Liberian Vice President said she was pleased to know that AML is constructing a concentrator that will bring premium value to Iron Ore from Liberia. Mrs. Howard-Taylor encouraged ArcelorMittal to continue forging stronger partnerships with local communities and invest in more social programs that will address the needs of the many vulnerable youths and young women in their operational counties and throughout Liberia.
She also lauded AML for its contribution to the Country Social Development Fund (20% of which is set aside for local community development), contribution to the Ganta-Yekepa highway, and other community initiatives. Vice President Howard-Taylor, however, encouraged AML to continue working with the government, the communities and local leaders, to invest in sustainable programs and projects, especially agriculture.
Displaying a great interest in a comprehensive update on AML operations, Vice President Howard-Taylor inquired about many areas of ArcelorMittal Liberia’s operations including job creation and elevation of Liberians to senior management, social and development programs, youth empowerment and training, gender inclusion in the workforce, local content promotion and empowerment of Liberian businesses, the AML Phase II expansion project and the added value of constructing a concentrator, amongst many other important issues.
Welcoming Vice President Howard-Taylor and her delegation earlier, ArcelorMittal Liberia’s Chief Executive Officer Jozephus Coenen expressed a warm welcome on behalf of the management and staff and briefed her on the operations of ArcelorMittal Liberia and the many exciting opportunities being created by the company which will benefit Liberians and the country.
Coenen said AML welcomes and continues to adopt new approaches to train and empower young people in order that they too, regardless of their educational qualification, can be trained to have the opportunity to work at ArcelorMittal Liberia and share in the dividends of its operations.
CEO Coenen referenced the training at the ArcelorMittal Liberia Training Academy of hundreds of Liberians in readiness for Phase II of the company’s expansion project and the recruitment and training of individuals with lower or no literacy skills as professional heavy-duty operators.
Equipped with world-class skills and expertise, Coenen said these young Liberians are the future of ArcelorMittal Liberia and will be the main operators of the concentrator when it is constructed.
Coenen expressed confidence about the immediate and long-term benefits and impact of ArcelorMittal’s further investment in Liberia and said he was optimistic that differences around the ratification of the company’s Third Amended Mineral Development Agreement will soon be resolved, and the deal passed.
The AML CEO stressed that ratification of the amended MDA and the success of AML’s expansion project will raise the confidence of the investors’ community in the economic future of Liberia and attract more foreign investors, including those with interest and potential to invest and co-utilize the Yekepa to Buchanan Railway corridor.
He reassured the Liberian people of ArcelorMittal’s commitment to the country and its development.