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EJS Center / News / Ellen Johnson Sirleaf launches initiative to pave the way for women in leadership across Africa

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf launches initiative to pave the way for women in leadership across Africa

On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2020, The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development will officially launch with its flagship program – the Amujae Initiative.

Derived from a phrase in Kru, a Liberian local language, Amujae (ä mōō jāēē) means ‘we are going up’. The Initiative’s mission is to inspire and prepare women to unapologetically take up roles in the highest echelons of public leadership across Africa, and to bring other women along.

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.

Amujae Initiative founder and former Liberian president 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.

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

The first cohort of ‘Amujae Leaders’ taking part in the program come from countries across the continent – women from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Guinea, among other nations. 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. The full list of participants can be found here.

During the inaugural Amujae Forum, hosted by the Center in collaboration with Big Win Philanthropy, participants will be coached and mentored by some of the continent’s most prominent public leaders. They will also receive training from leading experts in communications, advocacy, planning, and finance, amongst other areas.

The formal launch of the Initiative will take place at an event in Monrovia, Liberia on March 8, 2020. Details can be found below.

To learn more about the launch or to arrange an interview, please contact: press@ejscenter.org

Notes to Editor

About the launch event:
Location: Monrovia, Liberia (venue details to be provided)
Date: Sunday, March 8, 2020
Time: 10:00am

Format: Panel discussions with Amujae participants and leaders advocating for gender parity and a celebration of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s legacy through a cultural performance.

About the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Center for Women and Development:
The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development was founded in 2018 to be a catalyst for change across Africa, by helping unleash its most abundant untapped power — its women.

Through a unique blend of programming, advocacy, research and exhibitions, the Center will advance women’s public leadership and social development on the continent.

As the first democratically elected woman president in Africa, Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is passionate about supporting the next generation of women in public leadership.