The first Liberian student to earn a post graduate degree in Shipping and Port Management braved the storm and pursued professional career with Master of Science in Maritime Administration, specializing in Shipping and Port Management with extensive exposure of knowledge in modern maritime transport and administrative affairs from the World Maritime University.
Mr. Mohamed Lavalie, a graduate of Ricks Institute High School in Liberia and holder of Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Liberia graduated from the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden with a Master of Science in Maritime Administration, with emphasis in Shipping and Port Management on Sunday, December 2nd, 2012.This makes him the first Liberian in the country's Maritime history to specialize in both shipping and port Management unlike his previous Liberian graduates in maritime affairs who either specialized in shipping or Port Management. Hence his graduation brings the total number of Liberia World Maritime University graduates to 26.
During the course of his studies, Mr. Lavalie traveled extensively on field trips for practical knowledge to Asia and Europe. In particular, Mr. Lavalie visited the Republic of Singapore at the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore, the world second largest container handling terminal, in Germany; he also visited the world largest automated terminal in Hamburg the Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) and Hapag-Lloyd Shipping. Furthermore, Mr. Lavalie visited Kalmar, one of the world leading Cargo Handling Equipment Manufacturer and Supplier in Sweden, the producer of the famous Kalmar reach stacker and folk lift. In addition, he visited the Baltic International Maritime Council (BIMCO) in Copehengan, Denmark,the producer of world trade documents such as Bill of Laden and Charter Parties.
According to Mr. Lavalie, the World Maritime University Chancellor and IMO Secretary General, Mr. Koji Sekimizu, conferred postgraduate degrees on the World Maritime University's Class of 2012. The ceremony was a fitting tribute to the graduates who were addressed by several distinguished guests.
Mr. Lavalie until his study at the World Maritime University served as the Chief of Office Staff to the Office of Managing Director of the National Port Authority, Madam Matilda W. Parker and before then, worked as Program Assistant at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia(TRC). Also during his undergraduate study, Mr. Lavalie served as a founding member of the Agriculture Students Cooperative at the William Richard Tolbert Junior College of Agriculture and Forestry of the University of Liberia and ardent community mobilizer in the New Georgia Estate Community.
The Guest of Honor for the graduation ceremony was Carl Johan Hagman. CEO of Stena AB Shipping. He spoke to the graduates about the global importance of shipping and the important role they will play in helping to improve ports administration and management in their respective countries as well as multinational shipping institutions; noting that he encountered WMU graduates on a daily basis in his work with Stena AB Shipping.
Speeches were also delivered by Secretary General Sekimizu and WMU President Dr. Bjorn Kjerfve before the conferring of degrees for two Honorary Doctorates. The honorary degrees were awarded based on exceptional services to the international maritime community. The recipients were H.E. Binali Yildirim, Minister for the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairsand Communications, Republic of Turkey, and Alberto Aleman Zubieta, Administrator/CEO Autoridad del Canala DE Panama.
Mr. Lavalie hopes that due to Liberia's important role in world shipping history, Liberia can feed more Liberians into the main stream activities of the maritime sectors to include: Ship Owning, Ship Building, Ship Operating, Ship Scrapping, Ship Insurance, Ship Registry, Port Operations, Crew Supply, and many other important areas associated with the maritime.
He has returned home to contribute his quota to the rebuilding of the country.