Liberia: Arcelormittal Liberia Awards Masters Scholarship to Six Young Liberians

(L-R) Harry Ballity, Snr. Training Officer, ArcelorMittal Liberia, Nykita Diggs, Learning and Development Superintendent, ArcelorMittal Liberia, Shaffa Korvawu Kokro Jr (scholarship recipient), Simeon G. Kpaingbaye (scholarship recipient), Hon. Carlton Miller, Deputy Minister for Research and Development, Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, Beatrice Kollie (scholarship recipient), Ms. Peggy Varfley, Head of Human Resources and Development, ArcelorMittal Liberia, K. Marvie Reed (scholarship recipient), Levi Nya Paye (scholarship recipient), Solo Bloe Gbayor (scholarship recipient), and a staff of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy

The Management of ArcelorMittal Liberia has announced the awarding of scholarship to six young Liberians to pursue advanced degrees in various disciplines in the sciences. The scholarship, according to the company, is fully funded by ArcelorMittal Liberia as part of commitments in its Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) under the Liberia Advanced Studies Scholarship.

The six scholarship beneficiaries are: Shaffa Korvawu Kokro Jr, a candidate for of Masters of Science in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at University of Nairobi; Solo Bloe Gbayor, candidate for Masters of Science in Occupational & Environmental Health and Safety at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology; Beatrice Kollie, candidate for Master of Public Health in Population and Reproductive Health at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology; K. Marvie Reed, candidate for Master of Science in Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology; Levi Nya Paye, a candidate for the degree of Master of Science in Water Resources Engineering and Management at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology; and Simeon G. Kpaingbaye, a candidate for the degree of Master of Science in Occupational & Environmental Health and Safety at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology.

Since it began operations in Liberia, ArcelorMittal has placed high priority on investment in education of Liberians.

The Liberia Advanced Studies Scholarship promotes studies at universities outside Liberia. Since 2012, thirty-five students have benefited from this scholarship program.

During a presentation ceremony Friday in Monrovia at Liberia's Ministry of Lands Mines and Energy, the awardees expressed thanks to the management of ArcelorMittal Liberia in collaboration with the Government of Liberia for the opportunity to acquire advanced knowledge which could help prepare them for future career opportunities and contribution to the development of Liberia.

Shaffa Korvawu Kokro Jr, one of the beneficiaries said the opportunity would enable him contribute to Liberia's manpower development 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. I am going to Kenya on a mission to be a positive agent in Liberia's development," said Kokro.

For the only female awardee of the 2019 ArcelorMittal Liberia Scholarship students Beatrice Kollie, candidate for Master of Public Health in Population and Reproductive Health at Kwame Nkrumah University, her passion for helping reduce the high child and maternal mortality is the driving force behind her pursuit of higher education at Kwame Nkrumah University in Ghana.

She said: "Our mothers and children in Liberia are dying at a very high rate and health workers need advanced knowledge to help remedy this situation. It has been a lifelong desire for me to expand my knowledge in this field and I am excited and grateful to ArcelorMittal Liberia for the support and opportunity."

Friday's event was attended by officials of ArcelorMittal Liberia and the Government of Liberia.

Deputy Lands and Mines Minister for Planning Research and Development Carlton S. Miller who spoke on behalf of the Government of Liberia commended ArcelorMittal Liberia for its strong commitment to investing in education for Liberia's youths and challenged the scholarship awardees to dedicate serious efforts and time to their studies.

"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. Now you have the opportunity to change that picture through this scholarship," said Miller.

Head of Human Resources and Development at ArcelorMittal Liberia Peggy Varfley said as a responsible corporate partner to Liberia, ArcelorMittal Liberia prioritizes its commitments in the MDA with Liberia.

"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. ArcelorMittal is a company that believes in investing in Liberia's future generation and we're committed," said Peggy.

ArcelorMittal Liberia was created in 2006, when a 25-year Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) to mine iron ore was signed between the Government of Liberia and ArcelorMittal.

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