Arcelor Mittal Liberia has awarded a full-paid scholarship to eight Liberians to pursue Master’s degrees in various disciplines as part of the entity’s commitments enshrined in the Mineral Development Agreement under the Liberia advanced studies scholarship.
Beneficiaries of the scholarship are; S. Augustine P. Weah Jr., 31 years, Janneh V. Dukuly 26 years, Mamadee M. Kamara 27 years, Emmanuel Gbafore 28 years, Tim Telyon 24 years, Thomas N. Gmamlue, Jr 24 years, Leo Kla Wilson 26 years, and Abigail K. Nanon 28 years.
Presenting the check to the eight beneficiaries on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021, in Monrovia. The Chief Executive Officer of Arcelor Mittal Mining Global, Simon Wandke, informed the beneficiaries that the opportunity was a wonderful one to help them understand other cultures, network and interact if used.
Mr. Wandke said the advanced studies program was a chance for beneficiaries to have an experience and come back to make the future of Liberia brighter. “The process you all have been through is the start of another journey and I hope you make the best of it,” he cautioned the beneficiaries.
The Chief Executive Officer said Arcelor Mittal Liberia looks forward to seeing more Liberians educated as the company seeks to see the entire management and employees being run by Liberians. Highlighting the company’s expenditure on education for Liberians, Mr. Wandke said though the company has spent US$7 million on vocational training at its Yekepa Vocational Training Center, the management has decided to expand the curriculum because the company sees it as the best.
Mr. Wanke added that, the advanced studies scholarship program targets over 30 Liberians including the first eight beneficiaries.
It can be recalled on Friday, September 10, 2021, the Government of Liberia and Arcelor Mittal Liberia Signed a Amended mineral Development Expansion Project in Liberia for the next 25 years. In return, the company is to give Liberia US$2.5 billion including other benefits like scholarships.
Arcelor Mittal Liberia Head of Corporate Service Mr. Steve Quiah said the management was proud to hear beneficiaries acknowledging the level of transparency in the selection process. “It doesn’t always have to be ‘business as usual and I am pleased to be a part of an organization that is changing the narrative on how young people get opportunities. We are counting on you to help us get where we want to be, as ArcelorMittal is going big to prepare the way,” Mr. Quiah, informed the beneficiaries. He called on beneficiaries to be ambassadors not only for ArcelorMittal but also for Liberia.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Mr. Johnson S. Willabo, Sr., described the selection process as one of the toughest because all applicants were qualified. He added that all who applied were qualified in their specific areas but they had to select the best of the best and ensure that they have the young qualified Liberians. Mr. Willabo encouraged the scholars to take advantage of the opportunity afforded them and avoid distractions that will obstruct them.
The Programs Coordinator of the Bureau of Student Personnel Services at the Ministry of Education and a member of the selection process, Leemu M. James lauded ArcelorMittal for providing advanced studies opportunities for young Liberians. She thanked ArcelorMittal for the opportunity to work with other professionals in selecting young brilliant but financially ill Liberians to acquire advanced education.
The beneficiaries lauded ArcelorMittal Liberia for the opportunity, indicating that the process was competitive and remain grateful. They expressed gratitude to the management of ArcelorMittal Liberia and the government as well as partners for the creation of such an opportunity, also describing the selection process as fair and the best.
Miss Abigail K. Nanon said, “We are grateful to the team for the level of transparency and commitments. You have proven integrity. Usually in Liberia, we go by the saying that ‘if you don’t know anybody in the system, definitely you will not go through,’ but you proved us wrong”.
According to Mamadee M. Kamara, “ArcelorMittal is helping to build the capacity of young people to be able to contribute to Liberia. Achieving the needed education and coming back to contribute in our various fields means a lot for the beneficiaries and the country at large”.