Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a politician, economist and the 24th President of Liberia who served from 2006 – 2018. She is the primary elected feminine head of state in Africa. Also, she is the primary lady to chair the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 2016 since its creation.
Sirleaf is a Nobel Laureate, she gained the peace award together with two others in 2011 – Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karma. Aside this, she has additionally gained notable management awards together with the Mo Ibrahim Prize in 2017.
Generally, Sirleaf is considered Africa’s Iron Lady. She is a promoter of peace, freedom and women empowerment. In 2008, she revealed the memoir, This Child Will Be Great.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Background
She was born Ellen Eugenia Johnson in October 1938 in Monrovia. Her father, Jahmale was from the Gola tribe and her mom, Juah, a Kru-German descent.
Firstly, she attended the College of West Africa from 1946 -1955. After a while, she moved to the United States to finish her schooling. In the US, she attended Madison Business College to review Accounting.
Subsequently, Ellen went to the University of Colorado Boulder and earned a level in Economics. Also, she had her Masters in Public Administration at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government from 1969 to 1971.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Early Career
Ellen labored on the Treasury Department in Liberia in 1965. Then, after her schooling within the US, she got here again and labored in William Tolbert’s authorities as Deputy Minister of Finance.
Next, in 1979, she was appointed Minister of Finance, the place she launched insurance policies to deal with mismanagement of presidency finance. Then, in 1980, she moved to the US following a coup d’etat in Liberia.
In the US, she labored on the World Bank. Then, she turned the Vice president of Citibank’s Africa regional workplace in Nairobi. Later on, she turned the vice chairman of Equator Bank.
In addition, Sirleaf additionally labored as Assistant Administrator of the UN Development Programme, as a Director of its Regional Bureau of Africa. Later on, she resigned to contest for Liberia presidency in 1997.
Also, she served because the Chairperson of the Governance Reform Commission of the National Transition Government of Liberia and resigned in 2004 to tackle the nomination for the Unity Party of Liberia management.
Ellen received married to James Sirleaf in 1956 on the age of 17. However, in 1961, the duo divorced attributable to James’ abuse. Their marriage is blessed with 4 sons. Ellen has a number of grandchildren.
Ellen began getting concerned in politics proper from 1985 after returning to Liberia from the US.
First, she contested for a senatorial seat for Montserrado County. Then, in 1997, she misplaced the presidential race to former President Charles Taylor. Consequently, she contested once more in 2005 and this time, she emerged the winner.
On January 16, 2006, Sirleaf was inaugurated because the 24th president of Liberia and the primary feminine elected president in Liberia and Africa. Also, in November 2011, she was re-elected into workplace. Then, in January 2018, she handed energy to George Weah.
As the President, Sirleaf targeted on rebuilding the nation after the Liberia bloody civil battle ended. She pledged to advertise nationwide reconciliation by bringing in opposition leaders into her administration. For occasion, She introduced in Minster of Transport, Jeremiah Sulunteh; Minister of Education, Joseph Korto; and others. Also, Sirleaf appointed ladies to high-level positions in her authorities.
In addition, she attracted over $16 billion in international direct funding. Also, greater than $5 million was additionally attracted to non-public sources to rebuild faculties, clinics, markets and to fund scholarships for capability constructing.
Besides that, she efficiently negotiated $four.6 billion in exterior debt and the lifting of UN commerce sanctions, which have allowed Liberia to as soon as once more entry worldwide markets. She elevated the nationwide finances from $80 million in 2006 to over $672 million in 2012, with annual GDP development price of greater than 7%.
In October 2010, she signed the Freedom of Information Bill into legislation, and because of this, was awarded the Friend of the Media Africa Award.
The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center For Women
Generally, the Ellen Johnson middle was established to be a catalyst for change throughout Africa. It seeks to change into the premier establishment devoted to advancing and sustaining ladies’s public management and social growth throughout Africa.
Basically, Ellen is keen about supporting the subsequent technology of ladies, subsequently, the Amujae Initiative was launched to commemorate the International Women’s Day 2020. The identify Amujae is derived from a phrase in kru, a Liberian native dialect, a moo jaee which implies – ‘We are going up’.
Generally, the intention of the initiative is to shift the panorama for girls in public management in Africa, transferring from a tradition of tokenism to at least one that actually values ladies leaders. With this, a number of ladies have been chosen throughout the African continent and will likely be groomed on change into nice leaders.
Ellen was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. The award is in recognition of her non-violent battle and energy to the protection of ladies and girls’s rights in full participation of the peacekeeping course of. Also, she has acquired a number of medals, honorary doctorate awards, and notable recognition from past the shores of Africa.
Some these embrace;
Award And Medals
- Freedom of Speech Award, Roosevelt Institute, 1988
- Gold Medal of the President of the Italian Republic, 2006
- Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger, 2006
- Common Ground Award recipient, Search for Common Ground, 2006
- National Reconciliation Award, 2006
- International Woman of the Year, 2006
- International Republican Institute Freedom Award, 2006
- David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award from Synergos, 2006
- Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2007
- National Civil Rights Museum Annual Freedom Award, 2007
- National Democratic Institute Harriman Award, 2007
- Bishop T. Walker Humanitarian Award, 2007
- FAO’s CERES Medal, 2008
- Golden Plate Award, 2008
- International Women’s Leadership Award, 2008
- International Crisis Group Fred Cuny Award for the Prevention of Deadly Crisis, 2008
- James and Eunice Okay. Matthews Bridge Building Award, 2008
- American Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award, 2008
- EITI Award, 2009
- FUECH Grand Cross Award, 2009
- Friend of the Media Award, 2010
- African Gender Award, 2011
- Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, 2012
- Grand-Criox de la Legion d’Honneur, 2012
- Mo Ibrahim Prize, 2017
Also, she has acquired an honorary doctorate from the next establishments:
- Tilburg University (Netherlands)
- The Nigerian Defence Academy,
- The University of Massachusetts Medical School,
- Harvard University
- Rutgers University,
- Yale University
- Emory University
- Georgetown University,
- The University of Abeokuta (Nigeria)
- The University of Minnesota
- Furman University of South Carolina,
- Brown University
- Indiana University,
- Dartmouth College
- Concordia University
- Langston University, Spelman College
- Marquette University
- University of Tampa
Other Recognition Are;
- 51 Most Powerful Women within the World, Forbes Magazine, 2006
- One of the World Top Ten Leaders, Newsweek Magazine, 2010
- One of the Top ten feminine leaders, Time Magazine, 2010
- Best President Liberia has ever had, The Economist, 2010
- 83rd Most Powerful Woman within the World by Forbes, Magazine, 2016
- One of the 70 Most Powerful Women on the earth by Forbes, 2015
- One of the 50 Most Powerful Women In Africa, 2020
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Quotes
“The measurement of your goals should at all times exceed your present
capability to attain them. If your goals don’t scare you, they don’t seem to be huge
“When it involves advancing ladies’s public management, we
don’t have the luxurious of time. Africa’s growth relies upon upon harnessing the
vitality of our ladies to speed up progress.”
“Regardless of our ages, or where we come from, we are the same. We have so much more to do to lift women up in our own countries, in Africa, and around the world.”
“Leadership isn’t given on a silver platter; one has to
“With an schooling, a woman has the chance to jot down her
personal future and make knowledgeable selections about her profession, physique, well being, associate
“To stand as a job mannequin in your society means working
inside your society and with the ability to assist these in your society.”
Lessons From The Life Of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Be More Deliberate
Growing up wasn’t luxurious for Ellen. She received married at age 17 after highschool. Soon after, she gave delivery to 4 kids, as on the time the vast majority of her colleagues had been transferring on with their schooling. Even then, she was a homemaker and cared for her household.
Notwithstanding her scenario then, she nonetheless had a dream. Going to College turned a precedence for her. She disclosed “going to college became a goal so that I could equal those friends and classmates who had gone ahead”.
With that dream in thoughts, she moved to the US and furthered her schooling. Getting an schooling paved the best way for her to attain her goals.
Beyond Survival, Strive To Succeed
According to Sirleaf, “It’s been a lifetime… of making sure that I keep struggling to not only survive but to succeed”. For occasion, so as to be protected and fulfill a political dream, Ellen fled Liberia on numerous events.
Besides, she was additionally thrown into jail at totally different instances by political opposition. In quick, the trials had been countless on the time. But regardless of all of those, Ellen grew stronger and made historical past for herself. Whatever she did, she didn’t simply need to survive, she wished to make historical past.
As entrepreneurs, it’s good to begin small and sluggish, however if you grasp the waters, it’s important to search for methods to scale. You can not proceed to play small. You must face your fears and take the bull by the horn.
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