Liberia: AMEZU Introduces Maritime Studies Department

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion University (AMEZU) has introduced the Department of Maritime Studies at the University to create the opportunity for students wishing to study in such an area of disappline.

The department was officially launched on September 17, at the campus of the University in Monrovia.

According to the University’s authorities, the inclusion of the department of maritime within the curriculum will give Liberian students the knowledge required to discuss the national and global economy as well as contribute to issues relative to maritime economics within the shipping sector.

The authorities said that this is going to further equip students with a clear understanding of the social, economic, and political factors changing the global trajectory of the world in the 21st century as it is being witnessed in the maritime sector. 

Additionally, they said that the maritime course of studies will enhance students’ abilities and understanding of the impact of climate change to the shipping industry and its implication for national growth and development and make sure that students are fully equipped with both theoretical and practical knowledge required for employment within the maritime sector.

“The introduction of the department is also intended to provide essential legal concepts of issues concerning Maritime Law, claims, insurance and related issues; thereby helping students to understand the concepts and platform to discuss international maritime instruments governing the sector,” the authorities added. 

Liberia over the years has been striving to maintain its maritime security among developing countries through government efforts and other initiatives.

Mohamed Calico Lavalie, Chief Executive Officer of the Christopolis Maritime Solution Liberia Limited, stressed the importance of maritime education in Liberia, especially with the need for sustainable development in countries like ours. 

Lavalie told the gathering that Maritime transport, an international shipping industry, is responsible for ninety percent of world trade in volume and seventy percent in value. 

According to a report, as of 2021 maritime transport accounted for ninety-nine thousand eight hundred vessels.  With this report, Lavalie said it is interesting to know that by the day the competition in the maritime world is increasing, and other nations are taking advantage of maritime trade in developing their economies. 

“Sadly, in the case of Liberia, instead of Liberia making way for bigger vessels to come to the Freeport of Monrovia, and instead of our country benefiting from the economies of scale, the good concept, the bigger the vessels cannot be applied to our case. This means that bigger vessels cannot come to Liberia, and if the bigger cannot come, we paid higher money,” he explained.

The Maritime chief executive officer said the need for improving the maritime setting should be taken very seriously.

Meanwhile, Covelo Veescia, Special Representative of USAID, who also spoke at the program noted that maritime service can enhance employment opportunities, and increase human capital for many Liberians. 

“Human capital is complementary to physical capital, and the work of these programs is to build professionals that will be complementary in supporting the government that has an impact on four different sectors,” he added.

However, Lieutenant Steven Y. Kamara, a Training Officer, Coast Guard of the Arm Forces of Liberia (AFL), expresses excitement for the official launch of maritime studies at AMEZU. 

“It will interest you to note that the world maritime university is very key and has played a major role in developing the coast guard as well, where a couple of  sailors have graduated or earned admission to such institutions and play a significant role in the growth and development of the country,” he said.

Kamara, however, stated that the area of maritime studies will also help because here in Liberia, only few are aware of the maritime environment and such study will impact a lot of young people.

According to him, the program will narrow the gap of information and maritime security within the marine environment. 

Dr. Benjamin D. Lartey, President of the AMEZU said the challenges that Liberia as a nation faces are enormous and, being a part of the comity of nations, cannot wish to live in isolation. 

“If Liberia has the second largest registry in the world, it will need to take more opportunities to address what it means and not to sit back and allow the Liberian flag to be used as one of confidence and certification to collect fees,” he explained. 

“This program at this University is timely and must be properly utilized and implemented. We must be in the business of educating our people and, by doing so, we get them empowered,” he added.