Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Monrovia Liberia – Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf will officially launch a Center with a aim of grooming women in leadership across Africa.

The center, named styled, the “Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development” will be launch along with its flagship program – the Amujae Initiative on Sunday, March 8, 2020. The event coincides with the worldwide celebration of International Women’s Day.

Amujae is a Kru dialect phrase which means “we are going up.” The Initiative’s mission is to inspire and prepare women to boldly take up roles in the highest echelons of public and private leadership across Africa, and to bring other women along.

Recent studies have shown that there is a strong link between women in leadership and better health, education and environmental outcomes as well as lower levels of corruption and lesser likelihood of using violence when faced with potential conflict.

Sub-Saharan Africa has some of the worst statistics globally when it comes to gender equality in public life, and the Amujae Initiative is working to address this imbalance, said a released issued Wednesday in Monrovia.

Speaking of the Amujae Initiative, Founder and former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said “After leaving office, I vowed to dedicate my time to advancing the careers of the next wave of women leaders across the continent. Through this Initiative, we are working to do just that: identifying women who are already driving change in their countries, who, through mentorship and support, can reach even greater heights”.

She continued “When it comes to advancing women’s public leadership, we don’t have the luxury of time. Africa’s development depends on harnessing the energy of our women to accelerate progress.”

According to the release, the first cohort of ‘Amuaje Leaders’ taking part in the program come from countries across the African continent to include women from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Guinea and host country Liberia.

It will feature women with backgrounds in law, government, business, education and activism, their achievements are as varied as their origins, but they all have a common purpose; to serve their countries and advocate for their fellow women.

During the inaugural Amujae Forum, participants will be coached and mentored by some of the continent’s most prominent public leaders, including former Malawian President, Dr. Joyce Banda and former Central African Republic President, Catherine Samba-Panza. Other coaches include Madame Sirleaf herself, and recently appointed Deputy Managing Director of IMF, Antoinette Sayeh.

The mentees will also receive training from leading experts in communications, advocacy, planning, and finance amongst other areas. Liberia’s Kola V. Fofana and Cornelia Kruah-Togba are amongst the inaugural trainees.

The formal launch of the center will take place at a hotel near the Roberts International Airport on Sunday March 8, 2020.


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