At the opening ceremony, front row, left to right: Juah Lawson, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Liberian Maritime Administration; Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia; Abraham Avi Zaidenberg, managing director of LMTI; James Kollie, Liberian Maritime Administration Commissioner; and U.S. Ambassador Christine Elder (Photo: Liberian Registry)

Liberia Opens Maritime Training Institute

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The Liberia Maritime Training Institute (LMTI) was officially opened by Liberia President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf during an inauguration ceremony in Marshall City, Liberia, on January 5.

The facility is named after John G Bestman, former Liberian finance minister and a member of the board of governors of the Central Bank of Liberia.

Under the management of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), LMTI has undergone a massive renovation and facility modernization program over the past two years, resulting in the creation of a new campus and state-of-the-art facilities. There are currently 24 full-time cadet-students - selected after an exhaustive nationwide program of interviews and examinations - studying mechanical and electrical engineering on campus at LMTI.

President Johnson-Sirleaf toured the 17.3-acre facility, which includes a newly constructed hi-tech workshop accommodating a machinery shop, a welding and gas-cutting shop, an electrical lab, an electronics lab, a machining shop and a seamanship shop. Other facilities include a computer lab, ship simulators, air-conditioned classrooms, a training swimming pool and a gymnasium

LMTI managing director Avi Zaidenberg, said, "The Liberian government solicited LISCR to restore and operate LMTI, to facilitate first-rate education and to produce certified high-quality seafarers, in keeping with Liberia's rich maritime heritage. The training is also designed to develop and nurture skills which can be used ashore in local markets for the advancement of the Liberian economy, and to support the expansion of the domestic maritime sector. Our overall objective is to enhance the capacity and quality of Liberia's next-generation workforce."

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