MONROVIA, Montserrado – ArcelorMittal Liberia has announced it has awarded scholarships to six young Liberians to pursue advanced degrees in various disciplines in the sciences.
According to a press release, the presentation took place at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy in Monrovia. The scholarship is fully funded by ArcelorMittal Liberia, under the Liberia Advanced Studies Scholarship. The initiative is part of the company’s commitments to the Mineral Development Agreement signed with the government.
The beneficiaries include a candidate for Masters of Science in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Nairobi, Shaffa Korvawu Kokro, Jr.; a candidate for Masters of Science in Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Solo Bloe Gbayor; and Beatrice Kollie, who is also a candidate for Master of Public Health in Population and Reproductive Health at Kwame Nkrumah University.
Others are K. Marvie Reed, who will pursue a Master of Science in Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation; Levi Nya Paye, who will chase a Master of Science in Water Resources Engineering and Management; and Simeon Kpaingbaye, who is a candidate for a Master of Science in Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety. Reed, Paye, and Kpaingbaye will all be studying at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
The company said since 2012, it has provided scholarship to 35 students under Liberia’s Advanced Studies Scholarships program, which promotes studies at universities outside the country.
The new beneficiaries thanked ArcelorMittal for the opportunity to acquire advanced knowledge and prepare for future career opportunities.
One scholarship recipient, Kokro, said he was excited to contribute to the manpower development of the country, especially in the critical area of energy, where strong expertise and competencies are lacking.
“This opportunity means that I will acquire the skills and knowledge required to contribute to Liberia’s emerging energy sector,” the release quotes Kokro. “I am going to Kenya on a mission to be a positive agent in Liberia’s development.”
The lone female among the new batch of beneficiaries, Kollie, said her passion for helping reduce the high child and maternal mortality rate in Liberia is the driving force behind her pursuit of higher education at Kwame Nkrumah University in Ghana.
Kollie said it has been a life-long desire for her to expand her knowledge in the field of Reproductive Health: “Our mothers and children in Liberia are dying at a very high rate and health workers need advanced knowledge to help remedy this situation.”
The release also disclosed that the deputy mines and energy minister, Carlton Miller, who spoke for the government, also thanked the company for its commitment to invest in education for Liberian youths.
Miller challenged the beneficiaries to be diligent with their studies during their time abroad.
“It’s about time that we change the narrative that Liberians lack the capacity to fill important job vacancies and are not good enough, especially in the sciences,” he said. “Now you have the opportunity to change that picture through this scholarship.”
ArcelorMittal’s head of human resources and development, Peggy Varfley, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to Liberia as a responsible corporate partner.
“It’s exciting to see today that after a rigorous vetting process these determined young people have been outstanding and have shown their strong desire to advance themselves,” Varfley said.
“ArcelorMittal is a company that believes in investing in Liberia’s future generation and we’re committed.”
Other members of the government and senior teammates of ArcelorMittal also reportedly attended the award ceremony.
Featured photo courtesy of ArcelorMittal