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Ellen Launches Initiative For Women Into Leadership

By Bill W Cooper

The former President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, on yesterday launched her “Center for Women and Development” along with its flagship program dubbed the AMUJAE Initiative aimed at shifting the landscape for women in public leadership in Africa; moving from a culture of minimum efforts to one that truly values women leaders.
The colorful program which took place on the observance of the International Women Day, scheduled each year for March 8, at the Farmington Hotel in Margibi County, brought together past and current leaders including Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obassanjo, the former acting President of the Central African Republic, Catherine Samba-Panza, the former Malawian President, Joyce Banda and President George M. Weah along with an array of government officials.
Madam Sirleaf said her initiative is intended to help women excel in a higher positions in public spaces and to also help them achieve by being placed in all areas of the society to promote the policies, programs and opportunities themselves as well as for other women.
According to the former Liberian leader, regardless of their age or where they come from, women have so much to do for each other in Africa, adding that they have fought hard to hold their dreams, values and ambitions, stressing that she hopes the AMUJAE Initiatives, through her Center, will help expand the number of women ready to hold leadership positions on the African continent including in Liberia.
Madam Sirleaf indicated that representation in politics is important by increasing the number of women in public life and leadership emphasizing that the Center will amplify the voices of all women and girls across Africa.
Making reference to the former Finance Minister of Liberia and now Deputy Managing Director-designate at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Antoinette Sayah, the former Liberian leader added that one can take a dream that big, stressing “If your dreams do not scared you, then they are not dreams.”
She then used the occasion to urge her counterparts, visiting women delegations and other dignitaries to be mentors for the younger women as well as encourage them to join their hands and dream bigger dreams than they can ever imagine.
In remarks, President Weah said Liberians remain very proud of the notable achievements of his predecessor, the first democratically elected female President in Africa and the first of two Liberian females to have won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize; noting that these and many other international accolades bestowed upon her, reflect a lifetime of her advocacy, hard work and commitment to the betterment of Liberia and humanity in general.
According to the Liberian leader, Madam Sirleaf came to office at a critical juncture in the country’s history thereby assuming a difficult task of strengthening the country’s democracy, peace and security.
He emphasized that when he assumed similar mantle of authority in 2018, he undertook to build upon the foundation she had left in order to consolidate the country democracy, preserve the peace and ensure economic viability thereby admitting that without the foundation laid by Madam Sirleaf, his task of nation-building would have been even more difficult.
President Weah recalled that throughout the country’s long history and in spite of its many Presidents, the country has not had any such Presidential Center to capture its history of equality and serve as a platform for research, documentation and the promotion of noble causes in the interest of the citizenry.
He added that the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential “Center for Women and Development” is the first of its kind in the country history will not only archive the papers and documentation from her career and presidency, but will also chronicle her activities for the empowerment and protection of other women, and serve as a springboard for the continuous promotions of her causes and interests.
President Weah said statistics has shown that women in Liberia constitute over 51 percent of the population and that the evidence also shows that it is the women of Liberia who bear the brunt of supporting the majority of their households through earned livelihood, as it is the women who lead in raising and educating their children; it is the women who lead in agriculture to feed our nation; it is the women who lead in building the infrastructures and the women of Liberia are the fulcrum around which the life of the nation revolves.
The Liberian leader then pledged his government’s fullest support to the “Presidential Center for Women and Development” and stated that his administration will remain committed to working with the former president in advancing the empowerment and development of women.

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