Liberia President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf officially opened the Liberia Maritime Training Institute (LMTI) at an inauguration ceremony in Marshall City, Liberia, on 5 January. The state-of-the-art 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 modernisation programme 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 programme 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 state-of-the-art gymnasium.
LISCR managing director and chairman of the board for LMTI, Avi Zaidenberg says, “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.”