COO Amini Kajunju discusses the EJS Center’s work to advance women’s public leadership
After a leadership journey that took her around the world—including becoming the first African president and CEO of the Africa America Institute—EJS Center Chief Operating Officer (COO) Amini Kajunju set her ambitions on settling in Africa and making an impact on the continent.
In a recent appearance on the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Into Africa podcast, Ms. Kajunju described the path that led her to her current position at the EJS Center—working alongside former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to help women access the highest levels of public leadership.
The EJS Center, Ms. Kajunju explained, is dedicated to ensuring that there is always a place for women at the decision-making table, and that women leaders have the necessary tools to communicate and inspire others to undertake their own leadership journey.
Ms. Kajunju added that the Amujae Initiative—the EJS Center’s flagship program—is the expression of Madam Sirleaf’s ambition regarding “legacy building and making sure that other women come along and are distinguished in their own right.” She noted:
“President Sirleaf is very [determined] that this is a pan-African institution. The Amujae Initiative has leaders from all over the continent… and also the president is very focused on the fact that we have diversity in language.”
What sets this initiative apart from other programs, Ms. Kajunju noted, is the large scale of networking opportunities that it offers:
“It [provides] access to the right people, access to the right mentors, access to the right set of information so that you make… career decisions that take you to the next level.”
Highlighting the continuous effort made by the Center to help African women reach the highest echelons of public leadership, Ms. Kajunju described the work to establish the EJS Presidential Center and Library—the first of its kind globally for a woman head of state. It will house Madam Sirleaf’s personal and professional archives, offer a space for training and networking, and present exhibits that inspire women to pursue leadership in all spheres.
“We really want it to be a place where men and women, young and old, can come and get inspired by what women have been able to do and will continue to do into the future.”
Listen to the full podcast here.