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EJS Center / News / Thomson Reuters Foundation: “Africa’s first elected female president to train ‘wave’ of women leaders”

Thomson Reuters Foundation: “Africa’s first elected female president to train ‘wave’ of women leaders”

Ahead of the Center’s launch on International Women’s Day, 8 March, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf spoke with Nellie Peyton from Thomson Reuters Foundation about her vision to transform the landscape for women in public leadership in Africa. Discussing how both the Center and Amujae Initiative intend to be a catalyst for change, Sirleaf explained:

“We’re creating this wave of women who are ready to take high-level leadership positions in society, and they’re going to do it unabashedly, they’re going to go for it intentionally.

After many years of trying to ascend to top leadership positions, I had the experience of how difficult it is for women.

I felt I had a commitment to dedicate, after my presidency, my time, effort and resources to promote women in leadership positions.” 

The article also featured insights from two participants from the inaugural cohort of the Amujae Initiative: Freetown, Sierra Leone mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr and former Director of Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development at the African Development Bank, Oley Dibba-Wadda.

Aki-Sawyerr said of her participation in the initiative:

“Most of my peer-level engagements since I became mayor 20 months or so ago have been international, so without an African focus… What this opportunity provides is an African lens and a female lens at the same time, so it’s hugely valuable.”

Dibba-Wadda added that “aspiring to get to the top is very lonely,” highlighting the value that the Amujae Initiative can bring for women seeking roles at the highest echelons of public service.

Read the full article here.