A group of maritime experts on Saturday, March 23, 2019, urged young Liberian professionals, including students to take advantage of the opportunities that abound in the maritime industry to reap the economy benefits in the future.
The experts appeal to the professionals was contained in a statement delivered at the one-day career fair organized by the Blue Ocean Conference (BOC) committee in Monrovia under the theme, “Youth Participation in the Maritime and Marine Sector.”
The BOC career fair seeks to give opportunities to young people in tertiary institutions to pursue careers in shipping, maritime and economy benefits to be mentored by industrial professionals to make informed career choices and develop themselves.
Olivia Tah Johnson, Maritime practitioner at the Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry (LISCR), said they want to ensure that young people are empowered, take up courses or careers that will help conserve “our ecosystem and to have use of a sustainable ocean.”
Madam Johnson then shared information on marine and maritime career paths to the participants.
She informed the over 100 students that Liberia has a very rich maritime history associated with lots of potentials, “but for us as a country to reap the economic benefit, we need young people, who will take up a career in those areas that would help conserve our oceans and beaches.”
Mrs. Johnson added, “we want to produce youth, graduates and young professionals in the marine and maritime sector that will be marketable for the job market as well as economic development in the country.”
According to her, Liberia needs an integrated approach to address the current and emerging issues that are affecting its oceans and the sustainability of it.
She charged the students to be honest and morally upright to take up the numerous job opportunities that are in the maritime industry.
“Be informed that that expectations are very high in the maritime world, and as such, you must be honest, morally upright to take up the challenges as there are a lot of job opportunities,” she said.
She also said that over 4,000 vessels fly the Liberian flag around the world, but there are non Liberian on those ships. Therefore, we look forward that in the near future, we will have Liberians assigned on those vessels.
John Harvey, Director of Safety at the Liberia Maritime Authority, also emphasized the needs for more young people to form part of the profession.
Harvey informed the students that the country only have two engineers, and because of that “we want you to take maritime career seriously.”
Meanwhile, a panel discussion was held among maritime experts. Some of them represented the University of Barcelona represented by Professor Patrizia Ziveri, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Peter Swarzenski and Kenya Ports Authority.